With the flooding and wet conditions across a lot of Manitoba and SE Saskatchewan, we can expect a lot of calls for disaster assistance to be made from ag producers to government this year.
The challenge for governments will be to target assistance to where it is most needed. For the operators around Lake Manitoba who are suffering from the effects of exceptional and man-made flooding, exceptional steps to compensate them for their loses are called for.
In other situations, like mine, I had the option to take out excess moisture insurance and I am relying on that insurance to protect the viability of my operation. While I am likely to have a lot of unseeded acreage this year, I will not be one of the the people calling on government to create a disaster program to deal with my situation. I had the risk management tool in place to deal with excess moisture on my crop land and it was my choice whether to use them or not.
Excess moisture during seeding time is clearly a problem this year. In my situation, the insurance systems in place have dealt with my “disaster’. While exceptional circumstances like the man made flooding around Lake Manitoba present genuinely unique circumstances, I hope that ag leaders this year can avoid the temptation to declare our whole region an exceptional disaster.