September 26, 2023
by Chris Bardenhagen
Cold weather snaps, drought, excessive rain and other uncontrollable events make farming a risky business. With fruit crops, pollination is added to the risk mixture. Crop insurance is an important tool for managing these risks. Fruit growers can use crop insurance programs to help provide income stability for their farm.
Throughout the fall, the Michigan State University Farm Policy and Risk Management Series will be hosting free educational webinars online on USDA insurance programs. Each webinar session will focus on a specific production area (fruit, dairy, field crops, etc.).
These sessions will review the basics of insurance programs and present how their use can benefit farm producers. This includes understanding the different policies, the ways each provides protection, and the advantages offered by each. Farms can better manage potential risks by understanding which options best fit their specific challenges and needs.
It will focus on insurance options for tree fruit and small fruit growers. Fruit crops will include cherries, apples, grapes (including the new grapevine insurance program), peaches, blueberries and more.
Actual production history and actual revenue history programs will be reviewed. The coverage levels available, how payouts are calculated and other details will be presented.
The session will also review Whole Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm Protection, which are based on overall crop revenue. These can be used to cover many crops and farm commodities, across multiple markets.
Cory Blumerick of GreenStone Farm Credit Services will join Chris Bardenhagen, Michigan State University Extension, in presenting this session.
Blumerick leads GreenStone’s Specialty Crop Insurance team. He has many years of experience in helping fruit farmers to find their best options. He is also an advocate for new policies and policy changes that are beneficial for farmers and fruit growers.
Other sessions include:
beef/swine, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14
vegetables, 1 p.m. Dec. 12
dairy, 1 p.m. Dec. 20
late-breaking/emergency farm bill session, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 (tentative)
field crops, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16
farm bill session No. 1, 1 p.m. Jan. 23
farm bill session No. 2, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13
The series will conclude with a group of repeat sessions on farm bill programs. Historically presented in the past as “Farm Bill Program & Crop Insurance Decisions — What Fits Your Farm,” these sessions will focus on “covered commodities” specific to Michigan growers. These have traditionally been focused on corn, soybeans and wheat crops.
Bardenhagen is a farm business management educator with Michigan State University Extension, based in Leelanau County.
Source: MSU Extension
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