These days, there seems to be a growing need for more reliable crop insurance among Australia’s farmers. According to Stock Journal’s cropping editor, Paula Thompson, Grain Producers Australia (GPA) plans to create a multi-peril crop insurance programme in collaboration with farmers, farm suppliers, and major banks. Garry Hansen, chairman of Grain Producers South Australia, says that such a programme will allow farmers to fund their annual crops without having to worry about other financial obligations:
“With farming, the cost-of-production is getting higher and the prices we’re getting for our grain are highly variable, as we’ve seen this year,” he said.
“Some banks aren’t prepared to put their toe in the water when it comes to farming.
“In the future, as more farmers lease country, and don’t own land to borrow against, it will make accessing finance harder.
“By having crop insurance, you can cover the cost of putting the crop in and the banks are likely to be more inclined to offer finance.”
Many Queensland farmers would agree with Hansen’s sentiments, given the kind of environmental conditions they have to contend with. The state’s agricultural industries provide the local economy with about $10 billion in revenue every year, but these industries are also at the mercy of natural calamities such as wildfires and hail. To reap the rewards of their harvests, farmers will need the help of reliable insurance providers, like Insuring theProduct’s own insurance brokers in the Sunshine Coast. Among other things, these professionals can offer farm asset, crop, livestock, theft, and farm transit insurance packages.
These insurance policies reflect the desire of other parties, like the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business Development, to help farmers protect their sources of revenue. Since April this year, the Centre has been trying to create a farm risk management scheme that would protect the state’s agricultural sector from the effects of drought and flooding. This is in light of disasters, such as Cyclone Yasi in 2011, which have shown that a standard crop insurance package is often inadequate to help farmers recover their losses. Not helping is the fact that climate change is bound to bring about even worse natural calamities in the future, as various experts have feared.
Farmers would do well to work with a Sunshine coast insurance broker that can provide them with additional insurance packages appropriate for their situation. Crop insurance in Queensland only covers about two or three perils, but it can be complemented with domestic insurance, farm motor insurance, and other policies. Should the GPA’s plans for a more comprehensive crop insurance scheme prove successful, farmers in Queensland and elsewhere can certainly look forward to easier harvests.
(Source: Big underwriters key to insurance, Stock Journal, September 30, 2014)