REGINA -- The governments of Saskatchewan and Canada have teamed up to lower premiums and expand crop coverage in Saskatchewan.

The province says the Crop Insurance Program is always adapting for the "changing agricultural landscape."

“We are dedicated to maintaining a strong, growing agricultural economy,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said in a news release. “That is why we invest in business risk management programs to provide producers with protection against the unexpected. In these times of market uncertainty and adverse weather conditions, support through a comprehensive suite of programs is important for Saskatchewan producers.”

Crop insurance coverage is $224 per acre in 2020, a slight drop from $230 per acre last year.

Premiums will decrease to an average of $7.40 per acre, down from $8.61 in 2019. The insurable region for soybeans is expanding to the whole province, based on a producer's insured history instead of the regional average. Irrigation coverage is also available, the province says.

Farmers have up to seven years to rejoin the crop insurance program to continue with their previous discounts, surcharges and yields. The program is also developing a new approach for organic producers.

The province says many farmers faced a challenging 2019 growing season, including both dry and wet conditions, early snowfall and a delayed harvest. Around 1.3 million insured acres were left out over the winter, and compensation is expected to reach $350 million in claims.

Livestock producers can also purchase calf price insurance policies before May 28.