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The Wildlife Damage Compensation Program compensates agricultural producers for wildlife damage to eligible unharvested crops. Producers wishing to participate in the program are not required to have insurance to qualify for a claim.

All costs for this program are paid by the federal and provincial governments; producers pay no premium or administration cost except for the appraisal fee. A non-refundable appraisal fee of $25 per inspection type is required for each section of land or portion thereof on which the damage has occurred.

What’s New for 2020

The Wildlife Damage Compensation Program provides compensation for eligible claims on damaged acres with or without production-based insurance. In previous years,  payments were determined based on an in-field, estimated, potential yield.

From 2020 onward, the process to determine eligible Wildlife Damage Compensation Program claims has changed.

  • Damaged crops with production-based insurance will use the insured’s yield from the Harvested Production Report (HPR) or the determined yield;
  • Damaged crops without production-based insurance will use the Risk Area average yield for the crop.

Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Perennial Crops

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The Wildlife Damage Compensation Program compensates agricultural producers for wildlife damage to eligible unharvested hay crops that is caused by ungulates, upland game birds and waterfowl.

AFSC also offers the program for stacked hay and haylage in pits and tube. It provides compensation for damage caused by ungulates to harvested hay.

All unharvested hay crops that can be insured under AFSC insurance are eligible for compensation under this program.

Swath grazing and bale grazing are eligible for compensation up to October 31.

Stacked hay and haylage in pits and tubes are not insurable under any of AFSC’s insurance programs but are eligible for a claim under this program.

The following crops are not eligible:

  • grazing land or native pasture,
  • crops seeded on land considered unsuitable for production,
  • crops that were left exposed to wildlife damage due to management practices.

Unharvested hay: In order to be compensated under the program, there must be at least 10 per cent wildlife damage and a minimum of $100 calculated loss per crop. Damaged hay crops cannot be cut until inspected, as wildlife claims cannot be adjusted from representative strips.

For AFSC Hay Insurance clients, the wildlife claim will be deducted from any Hay Insurance payments.

Compensation is based on the percentage of damage, multiplied by the yield before damage, multiplied by the higher of:

  • The highest price option offered under the current year’s Hay Insurance and Export Timothy Hay Insurance, or
  • The price offered under the Variable Price Benefit for hay, which is determined in the fall.

Stacked hay and haylage in pits and tubes: To initiate a wildlife claim on stacked hay and haylage in pits and tubes, a producer must first contact a provincial Fish and Wildlife Officer who will provide the producer with appropriate recommendations to prevent further damage prior to a claim being paid.

If a producer has a second claim, the minimum recommendations for the FW Officer during the first claim visit must have been implemented in order to be eligible for a full claim. If the recommendations have not been followed, the producer is only eligible to receive 50 per cent of the claim amount.

On third and subsequent claims, if minimum recommendations are not followed, no claim will be paid.

Claims filed over the winter will not be finalized until all damage has ceased and the total damage can be determined.

The maximum compensation for stacked hay and haylage in pits and tubes under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program is $5,000 per inspection.

Unharvested hay: Producers must contact AFSC at least 24 hours, and preferably 72 hours, prior to harvest so AFSC can arrange to have an inspector perform an on-farm inspection.

Producers should check their fields to identify the damaged areas prior to filing a claim. Producers are expected to take the inspector to the damaged fields when AFSC completes the damage assessment.

Stacked hay and haylage in pits and tubes: Producers are responsible to notify Fish and Wildlife and AFSC as soon as possible after first noticing damage to request an inspection and receive more detailed information

Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Annual Crops

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The Wildlife Damage Compensation Program compensates agricultural producers for wildlife damage to eligible annual unharvested crops, wildlife-excreta contaminated crops, and silage in pits and tubes. Producers wishing to participate in the program are not required to have insurance to qualify for a claim.

Unharvested annual and wildlife-excreta contaminated crops: These programs apply to all commercially grown cereal, oilseed, special and other crops that can be insured under the Production and Straight Hail Insurance programs.

Swath grazing, bale grazing and corn grazing are eligible for compensation up to October 31.

Silage in pits and tubes: Silage in pits and tubes is not insurable under any of AFSC’s insurance programs but is eligible for a claim under this program. Compensation is provided for wildlife damage caused by ungulates to harvested silage.

The following crops are not eligible:

  • Crops in granaries, bins, stacks or bales left in the field (exception: silage in pits and tubes are eligible);
  • Crops seeded on land considered unsuitable for production;
  • Crops seeded too late in the season to produce a normal yield;
  • Volunteer crops;
  • Crops left exposed to wildlife damage due to management practices

Unharvested annual crops: In order to be compensated under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, there must be at least 10 per cent wildlife damage and a minimum of $100 calculated loss per crop. Damaged crops must not be harvested until an AFSC inspector inspects them. Loss assessments are not made from representative strips or swaths.

Compensation is based on the percentage of damage multiplied by the commercial value of the crop. Commercial value is determined by the intended use of the crop and the yield and grade of the crop as follows:

  • Damaged crops with production based insurance will use the insured’s yield from the Harvested Production Report (HPR) or the determined yield;
  • Damaged crops without production-based insurance will use the Risk Area average yield for the crop.

The yield is multiplied by the grade factor (the value of the crop in the field relative to the designated grade, when applicable) and the highest price including Variable Price Benefit used for production insurance that year. Clients with wildlife claims on damaged crops may be eligible for higher rates of compensation provided the eligibility criteria for the higher coverage under crop insurance is met; example: malt barley or organic.

For unharvested crops, Wildlife Damage Compensation Program claims are deducted from any production insurance payments. If the Variable Price Benefit triggers under annual crop insurance, Wildlife Damage Compensation Program claims are paid at the higher price.

Wildlife-excreta-contaminated crops: Compensation is provided to producers who have incurred cleaning costs and/or market value loss for crops contaminated with wildlife excreta. In order to be compensated there must be at least a $100 calculated loss.

Producers must not have sold, disposed of or cleaned the crop prior to initiating the claim; otherwise their request for inspection will be rejected. For further details on compensation for cleaning costs and market loss value, AFSC should be contacted.

Silage in pits and tubes: A provincial Fish and Wildlife Officer will provide the producer with appropriate recommendations to prevent further damage prior to a claim being paid. If a producer has a second claim, the minimum recommendations for the Fish and Wildlife Officer during the first claim visit must have been implemented in order to be eligible for a full claim. If the recommendations have not been followed, the producer is only eligible to receive 50 per cent of the claim amount. On third and subsequent claims, if minimum recommendations are not followed, no claim will be paid.

Claims filed over the winter will not be finalized until all damage has ceased and the total damage can be determined.

Maximum compensation for wildlife damage for silage in pits and tubes is $5,000 per inspection.

Unharvested annual crops: Producers must contact AFSC at least 24 hours and preferably 72 hours prior to harvest so AFSC can arrange to have an inspector perform an on farm inspection.

Producers should check their fields to identify the damaged areas prior to filing their claims and are expected to take the inspector to the damaged fields for AFSC to complete the damage assessment.

Wildlife-excreta contaminated crops: Producers must contact AFSC as soon as possible after first noticing excreta contamination and request an inspection. To be eligible for a payment, the grain or crop must not be cleaned, disposed of or sold prior to AFSC completing an initial on farm inspection.

Silage in pits and tubes: Producers are responsible to notify Fish and Wildlife and AFSC as soon as possible after first noticing damage to request an inspection.

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