Contributed by George Hamilton, UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist, Hillsborough County.
One insurance policy that may easily get overlooked is Crop Insurance. For 2018 coverage, protection policies are due in November.
After the weather problems of past four years, orchardists having apple multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI) are glad they made the investment in this risk management tool. Those are the orchardists that are able to tap into the insurance to cover a portion of their losses if they were hit by weather problems of the past four years.
One grower in New Hampshire recently stated that “… if it wasn’t for the apple crop insurance program, I would not have any idea how I would pay the bills last year!”
So, crop insurance provides some protection against losses due to natural perils and adverse weather, such as hail, frost, winter injury and drought. Apple orchardists can select from different quality options and price elections to develop an optimum risk management plan for their orchards. These insurance plans are based on the actual orchard average yields.
Current policyholders have until November 20 to make any changes to their existing contracts. Growers considering apple multiple peril crop insurance for the first time must apply for coverage by November 20.
Apple crop insurance is regulated and subsidized by the Federal government. MPCI insurance policies are available through private insurance agents. For a list of crop insurance agents in your area, contact the local USDA Farm Service Agency office or log onto the following Risk Management Agency web site: https://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#/
Keep in mind that your insurance agent is usually deluged with questions as the sales closing date approaches. If you plan on applying for an Apple MPCI policy, call an agent well before November 20. Contacting your agent early will guarantee you time to review and select the best protection for your farm operation. If you have peaches, ask the insurance agent about this insurance program!