Forage rainfall plan: highest payment to date

In September, Ontario forage producers who insure their forage under Production Insurance received $6.5 ​​million in payments for insufficient rainfall, the highest payment to date for the forage rainfall plan.

Agricorp delivers the forage rainfall plan on behalf of government, to help manage the impact of forage shortages and quality reductions due to rainfall variability. Rainfall amounts varied this year across the province, resulting in a range of crop conditions regionally and at the field level.

Enhancements help forage producers

Since the forage rainfall plan was introduced, there have been a number of reviews. The last review came in 2012 following dry weather. Agricorp worked closely with OMAFRA, and with the Beef Farmers of Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Forage Council, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, and Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association to make several enhancements to the plan that better reflect forage producers'​ needs.

Enhancements to the plan included:​​

  • An improvement in the relationship between rainfall and yield, where smaller yields are now assumed in connection to rainfall shortages, leading to larger payments
  • Indexed claim calculations that reflect the higher cost of replacement forage during periods of rainfall shortage
  • The ability to choose multiple rainfall stations to reflect where forage is grown
  • The ability to insure forage at a higher value
  • The exclusion of minimal rainfall from rainfall data
  • Claims triggered when rainfall is less than 85 per cent of the historical average, instead of the previous 80 per cent

With most areas of the province experiencing dry conditions in 2016, these enhancements meant that producers were paid significantly more this year than they would have been under the old model.

For more information about the Production Insurance plan for forage rainfall, including rainfall data, visit