October 27, 2011
Talk about the right product at the right time at the right place. If you suffered devastating crop losses this summer due to a late spring, a hot dry summer or any combination of the above, then you owe it to yourself to check out products from Climate Corporation, a California Company that until a few weeks ago was known as WeatherBill.
Spokesmen explain that it's a form of crop insurance, but it's meant to supplement federal crop insurance, not replace it. And if you're already thinking "I hate to pay the premium for crop insurance now- why would I want to pay more?' Don't decide until you've checked it out.
What policies from this company do are give you the chance to cover the gap between what crop insurance covers in case of disaster, and the original yield goal you intended for your field. For example, if crop insurance makes you whole to 120 bushels per acre, but your goal was 180 bushels per acre, then Climate Corporation policies may have a fit for you.
That's because they don't pay off at the end of the year based on how your specific crops performed. Instead, you pick parameters, such as an amount of rainfall in May or a number of 93 degrees F or higher days during pollination for corn. Then if the weather exceeds those limits you've set, you get a check, soon after the event, no questions asked. What the crop actually makes is irrelevant. It's all done on tons of numbers, averages, and statistics, both for weather, soil type and yields.
The product the company is rolling out this year is much different than what they offered before, spokespersons say. It is more localized to your own area, and even your soils. You have a say in picking the risks you want covered. If your soils are more droughty, then you can expect to pay a higher premium. However, premiums aren't paid until the end of the crop year.
It's the teachable moment in Indiana because had you had this plan in effect this year, many of you would have received at least two checks, perhaps more, before you ever harvested the crop. And it doesn't affect what you will get from federal crop insurance.
The company expects local crop insurance agents in many areas to carry the product. They've went from a staff of 30 at Climate Corporation to a staff of 100 gearing up for 2012.
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