A new four-year pilot program to help cattle and hog producers manage price risks will be available to producers starting this spring.  The Federal Government and western provinces say the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) will help producers protect themselves against unexpected price declines.  Under the program, each producer will be able to purchase insurance on an insured price selected by them from the available coverage levels with the premiums fully funded by producers.

Alberta’s Agricultural Financial Services Corporation will lead the program’s central administrative body for the program, while the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation will be the lead customer service delivery agent.

In a statement, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz called the new insurance program innovative.

“This historic initiative is a great example of collaboration among federal and provincial governments and industry to strengthen risk management options for producers. Our Government will continue to work closely with the Provinces and industry to ensure producers have access to the tools they need to grow their businesses and our overall economy,” said Ritz.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is also giving the new program the thumbs up.

“This program gives more producers access to a solid tool to manage price and basis risk, one of the more unpredictable aspects of managing an operation. Market-based risk management is key to better managing volatility,” said Unrau.

This program is an expansion of the program first brought into place in 2009 by Alberta, which it’s Agriculture Minister is boasting.

“This program was pioneered in Alberta, in partnership with producers. Expanding this insurance option to other provinces will help the Western Canadian livestock industry protect itself from significant price downturns while also ensuring the program is delivered efficiently.”

The program’s upside is also being echoed in Saskatchewan by Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart.

“We have been committed to working with the industry to provide price insurance for our cattle and hog producers to help them better manage risk and grow the industry. This has been a top priority for our government and I am pleased to partner with the federal government and the western provinces to offer livestock price insurance,” said Stewart.

Donna Barnett, B.C. MLA for Cariboo – Chilcotin says this program is exactly what producers have been asking for.

B.C. livestock producers have expressed great interest in having more tools that help them manage their price risks and the B.C. government is proud to have worked with our partners to deliver a Western Canadian program. Providing predictable and cost effective insurance products will help our cattle and hog producers manage their businesses and focus on longer term operations.”

Producers can expect to see information coming their way on the program in March, or it can be picked up anytime at their provincial agricultural offices.

For more information on the WLPIP program click here.