Ranch insurance expanded

This spring B.C. cattle producers will have the same opportunity for insurance guarantees that have been extended to Alberta producers since 2009.

The new Western Livestock Price Insurance Program was announced earlier this year by agriculture minister Gerry Ritz and extends insurance to producers in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba as a four-year pilot.

“I think the cattle Price Insurance Program or (CPIP) is good thing,” says Cuyler Huffman, Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association.

He says ranchers will be able to subscribe starting March 26.

“It is meant to protect producers in the event that future prices are adversely affected by any number of potential threats,” Huffman says.

“The cattle market has been quite volatile in the past number of years causing uncertainty and a lack of ability to plan for the future in our ranching businesses.

This program gives a little sense of security at least for the current year marketable calves or yearlings.

He says the program, run by the AFSC, compiles data from nearly all auction markets in western Canada and from there determines what the settlement price will be for that particular day.

“As with all insurance we hope that the market is above settlement price, therefore prices are strong and a payout will not occur,” Huffman says. “The program basically puts a floor in the marketplace.”

He says premiums are reasonable, costing about ($3 per hundred pounds of weight) for maximum insurance all the way down to around ($0.50/cwt).

That generally will cost around $15/calf insured and downward. The program is also available for feeder cattle, cattle weighing around 850 pounds, that generally go to pasture for the summer and are sold in early fall.

The program is totally voluntary, Huffman says.

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