Category Archives: Agriculture

Ranch Insurance

Ranchers Insurance – What You Need To Know

When it comes to insurance needs, there is probably no single group more at risk than the California Rancher. When a ranch owner selects coverage, he is literally securing his livelihood, business, home and future. Being covered in the state of California carries certain legal responsibilities, that the insurance company can assist with. But it is more than that. The ranch provides food, shelter, income and stability. An unexpected event for the rancher can mean becoming homeless and put him out of business. It is absolutely necessary to make sure he has adequate coverage to allow him to survive and to put his ranch back in order.

Natural disasters

It is important to consider where your ranch is located. Are you in a flood zone or an area prone to wildfire? Of course, as with all insurance, you want to make sure your home, external structures and contents are covered. It is important to review your policy annually with your agent. People tend to buy insurance and forget it. Ranchers are busy and accumulate as they go, sometimes forgetting to call their agent about new equipment. It is critical that your coverage is ample to cover all your losses.

Livestock

Livestock coverage could be the single point where ranchers are most under covered. Livestock are living breathing creatures and as such they will wander. If your livestock wanders off the ranch and causes an accident, are you covered? What if the person in the automobile dies? The additional premium for livestock accidental death is minimal and the protection is extremely important.

There are additional policies available for your protection against the death of livestock. This can mean your own or livestock that you do not own, but are allowed to be on your property (and under your care). If there is a death due to malfunction, causing suffocation or temperature related issues, you should have coverage that pays for the replacement of your livestock.

Crops

Crop insurance is also an important consideration. The types of coverage available vary depending on the crops planted. This is another area where a good relationship with your agent is important. Making sure you have proper coverage in place before you have a crop issue will make your life much easier.

Vehicles

Ranchers have many types of vehicles that may be used on the ranch. Your truck or car as well as another vehicle used for your business needs to be insured. This is not the place to cut corners. Your ranch is only producing if you can work.

Workers

If you employ people to work on your ranch, whether they are farm hands or relatives, you should have workers’ compensation insurance. A law suit from an employee being hurt on the job could cost thousands of dollars.

Protecting your family, home, business and investments are the very reason you purchase insurance. Making sure you are properly covered is the reason you have an agent.

A Look at Farming in 2050

by Patrick Ramsay

In 2050, farming may be moving to the city. Today, with over 7 billion human mouths to feed, approximately 40% of this planet’s total landmass is used for agriculture to produce the quantity of food necessary to sustain our world’s population. By the year 2050, the world population is expected to grow to 9.6 billion and according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), food production will have to increase by 70 percent in order to avoid mass malnutrition.

Using less water, while at the same time producing more crops will be essential in addressing water scarcity problems as the demand for water will also increase with the population. Land will also play a pivotal role in feeding a world with 2.3 billion more people. Sufficient global land resources are available to feed future population, but much of the land is in areas riddled with obstacles like insufficient infrastructure and endemic diseases. These obstacles aren’t impossible to overcome, but it will prove difficult to use much of the available land for agriculture in the future.

Various ideas have been proposed to address the issues surrounding population growth and the best, most environmentally-friendly ways to feed the world. One of the most promising solutions to an overpopulated world facing starvation may actually be found in the middle of the urban areas.

1

Vertical Farming is a component of urban agriculture — imagine a skyscraper stacked with floors of produce in the middle of an urban area. Vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers, in vertically inclined surfaces, and/or integrated in other structures. By the year 2050, roughly 80 percent of the world is expected to live in urban areas. Vertical farming could remove the need for soil and sunlight, meaning the expansion of land for agriculture wouldn’t be necessary and the amount of water used to produce crops would drop significantly. While this is one proposed idea among many, it raises the question: what will become of our farmers in rural areas?

2

Nut Theft in California

By Patrick Ramsay

If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase ”nut heist,” it might bring to mind images of something like the movie Oceans 11 playing out on a pistachio farm. However, if you’re one of the hardworking nut farmers of California’s Central Valley, you know a nut heist is far more serious than that. A nut heist is a complex, organized, large-scale act of crime, and in recent years, California’s tree nut industry has suffered millions of dollars in losses due to these organized nut heists.

almonds

In one common technique, thieves fabricate shipping documents to pose as truck drivers and pick up cargo loads of tree nuts that can be worth upwards of $500,000 depending on the type of nut. While some of the stolen nuts have been tracked down within storefronts, bakeries, and farmer’s markets around the US, law enforcement officials believe organized criminal enterprises are sending cargo loads of nuts to the export market as well.

In response to a recent rash of these nut heists, the California’s tree nut industry is taking action. On Dec. 3, growers, processors and law enforcement gathered at the Emergency Nut Theft Summit in Visalia, California, to discuss the best ways to combat nut theft.

walnut

Nut growers have been using various methods to prevent loss of their produce and safeguard their protocols. These methods include fingerprinting and doing a more thorough, in-person check of the truck drivers who come to pick up the loads of tree nuts. Some nut processors are also using GPS in the cargo loads to track the shipments if they go off course. A nut heist is very hard to recognize and harder to stop. Growers, processors, and truck drivers are encouraged to be vigilant, as this is not the kind of crime that can be recognized outright and immediately most of the time. What are some solutions you can think of to stop these nut thieves?