In light of severe storms causing the NSW government to offer assistance, farmers are reporting lower levels of optimism. This is partly due to low crop yields caused by extreme heat and bushfire damage.
Protecting your business through crop insurance can help mitigate the financial consequences of of naturally occurring risks. Using a broker ensures your farm receives the right protection, no matter whether you’re involved in broadacre crops, forestry, orchards, vines or are a market gardener.
Storm damage leads to government assistance
Serious storm damage caused by bad weather in August this year has prompted government assistance to communities. This includes the Wingecarribee district, which will receive funding as part of a joint state and federal governments fund, the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant stated that this funding will go towards helping companies in the region get back to running their business.
“The measures will provide a broad range of assistance to help affected individuals, families, small businesses and primary producers in Wingecarribee to access funding for clean-up operations and repair damaged essential public infrastructure to recover from the storms,” Mr Grant said.
Naturally caused damage can have serious consequences, particularly for farmers. A recent analysis from Rabobank indicates that many farm owners are concerned about the impact of summer heat on crops.
Farmers less positive about upcoming summer
“There is likely to be a significant loss of grain, for a region that was expected to harvest a record crop.”
The latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey showed farmer confidence levels at a 12-month low. The previous survey recorded almost half (47 per cent) of all farmers predicting conditions will improve over the next year. However, the most recent survey saw this drop to 28 per cent.
Bushfires can have a similar impact on farms, with parts of Australia particularly vulnerable. Rabobank Australia deputy CEO Peter Knoblanche notes the impact that extreme weather can have on the quality of crops.
“Disappointingly, the adverse seasonal conditions have hit yields and we are now looking at a wheat crop of around 23 million tonnes down by around two million tonnes on earlier season forecasts,” he said.
Mr Knoblanche also stated that rain in early November has caused added damage to the quality of grain, with farmers reporting a downgrade in crop quality from milling grade to feed wheat.
In regards to Western Australia, Mr Knoblanche said the region was forecasted for record yields.
“The recent fires in the Esperance region will have impacted sentiment in the West. And while it is too early to gauge the full extent of the damage, there is likely to be a significant loss of grain, for a region that was expected to harvest a record crop,” he added.
What can be done?
It can be difficult to protect your crops from damage, there are still measures that can be taken to ensure you are financially covered. While farm insurance is extremely important for your general farm assets, taking out specific cover can help keep you covered despite fire, hail and other insured damage.
Farms are unique businesses and as such require specialised insurance covers. Crop insurance comes in various forms to help protect one of the most important aspects of a farming business.
MGA Insurance brokers have a wealth of experience in the rural sector – contact your local representative to see how we can help create an insurance package to fit your needs.