Weather Insurance for Farmers: What it Covers

Weather Insurance for Farmers: What it Covers

Agriculture and therefore humanity's source of food is extremely dependent on climate. As climate change and global warming increase, our weather continues to become more unstable and unreliable. This is having a huge impact on farmers. One way to assist in mitigating this negative effect is to invest in crop insurance.

In this article, we will discuss weather insurance for farmers, what it covers, and why it is so important.

 

The Effects of Bad Weather on Agriculture

Farming is to a degree a high-risk industry. This is because weather greatly influences whether or not a crop is successful. Rain can be great for a crop but the occurrence of a flood could ruin everything. The weather can't be controlled and even if a farmer takes all the correct precautions to prevent or minimise the damage caused by bad weather, a freak hail storm such as the one that occurred in 2012 can have detrimental effects and cause other disastrous conditions.

 

What Does Crop Insurance Cover?

Crop insurance covers a variety of weather-related accidents that can occur on a farm. Some of the events that are typically covered when investing in crop insurance include:

  • Hail: This is a common occurrence in South Africa, with hail storms wrecking crops every few years. Hail can appear unexpectedly and unless your crops are farmed in a tunnel, the chances are that your crops will suffer badly.
  • Frost: The ice crystals that form due to frost can be detrimental to plants and the fruits that they bear. If it is bad enough even potatoes can freeze and be ruined underground. Bad damage won’t generally occur from one night of frost but after a few nights, a crop could suffer. Frost damage can generally be minimised by planting the right crops in the right areas or making use of tunnels or some type of coverage that still provides a crop with enough light.
  • Wind: The severity of wind damage to a crop depends on the strength of the wind. Wind can break branches, destroy leaves, and ultimately damage a plant and its ability to photosynthesise due to a reduced number of leaves.
  • Drought: This is a problem that is quite prevalent amongst South African farmers. Without water, crops cannot flourish and yield diminishes. Luckily farmers can still make use of boreholes to supplement water in tough times. 
  • Fire: This is a threat that becomes more dangerous in times of drought and can decimate an entire crop leaving a farmer with nothing if the fire isn't brought under control in time.
  • Unforeseen Accidents: This includes all of the freak accidents that occur on a farm. A great example of this is a heavy vehicle losing its load en route to a silo.

 

Why Crop Hail Insurance Coverage Is so Important

Out of all the types of crop insurance coverage, hail is probably the most important incident to insure for. Other forms of crop dangers can be controlled and minimised to a degree; however, if hail strikes, there is little you can do to protect your crop. Other than the visible damage caused to the plants in your crop, the ability of the plant to perform photosynthesis and recover from the damage is negatively affected. Plants that aren't able to effectively perform photosynthesis experience a  downward spiral in their overall health and are susceptible to diseases such as grey leaf spot, leaf blight, and more.

 

Crop Insurance in South Africa

It is important to choose an insurance provider that is prepared to be there for you when disaster strikes as well as payout as quickly as possible to ensure that you can make a recovery from the disaster that has occurred. AgriSeker is a company that specialises in underwriting within the agricultural industry, ensuring that you receive the coverage you need from your crop insurance. Their main goal is to ensure that farmers are supported in order to increase food security within South Africa. They provide agricultural risk management services and ensure that their clients have practical solutions to the danger that bad weather and climate conditions pose to crops.

 

Visit the AgrifoodSA directory to find out more about how AgriSeker can provide you with protection against Acts of God. 

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