Climate change and lending requirements are pushing more western growers to consider crop insurance and other methods to protect their capital investments.
California rice growers, for instance, began using prevented planting insurance more heavily several years ago as an ironic combination of drought and late spring shut down any hope of planting a crop that year. Now new offerings are available for fourth-leaf almond crops susceptible to frost and other springtime weather phenomenon.
John Wienstroer, senior vice president of branch operations with NAU Country Insurance said the relatively new almond product offers insurance protection specifically to a freeze affecting fourth leaf almonds. This can be helpful as the small trees are already producing a crop but are young enough to be affected more severely than older almonds.
Farmers can also access extra coverage options (ECO) to their multiple peril crop insurance policies. These ECO coverages can be delivered through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to further mitigate losses not completely covered by government programs.
The new ECO program was approved by the FCIC and is expected to be available on more than 30 crops in 2021, with more to follow in future years.
Growers are encouraged to talk over their risk management options with their local Farm Service Agency representative or their private insurer for up-to-date opportunities and deadlines.