By Connor Lynch
The tally is in, and the toll is grim. The cold, wet, remorseless spring has left more insured land unplanted, going by Agricorp data, than has been in the Crown corporation’s history.
As of Sept. 20, the payout to producers for unplanted corn and soybeans was $51 million for 260,000 acres, the vast majority for corn. Unseeded acreage payments are higher than ever before, said communications manager Stephanie Charest, going out to about seven per cent of the total acreage of corn and soybeans insured by Agricorp in Ontario.
This year blew the previous record out of the water for unseeded acres. In 2000, 117,599 acres went unplanted. The next worst year on record for Agricorp was 2018, when 89,669 acres weren’t’ planted.
As much as market forces pushed growers towards corn, planting conditions were simply too harsh. Ontario made over 1,400 claims for a total of over $47 million for corn. In an average year in the last five, producers would make 87 claims for less than $2 million.
Soybeans came through much better than the corn crop. No surprise to any grower who switched to soybeans just for the sake of getting crop in the ground. Just over $4 million was split among 452 claims for soybeans. A more normal year in the last would see producers make 157 claims for just under $2 million.
Southern Ontario (which, for Agricorp, covers the counties from Middlesex and south) had the most claims for the highest dollar value, not least because more acreage is insured there than anywhere else in the province, Charest said. Producers there made 441 claims, totaling $17 million, for unseeded corn acres. Normally they’d make about 10 claims.
Reseeded acreage claims were down significantly this year across the board, except for winter wheat. Winter wheat reseeding claims as of Sept. 20 were for over $26 million, compared to a more typical number just shy of $4 million.
Agricorp pays record-high $51 million for unseeded corn and soybean acres
By Connor Lynch