By: Trevor Troyer – Vice President at Agricultural Risk Management, LLC
Grape cultivation is an art that dates back thousands of years, producing some of the finest wines and fruits enjoyed worldwide. However, vineyard owners face a range of challenges, from unpredictable weather patterns to diseases that can decimate their crops. That’s where grape crop insurance comes in. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of grape crop insurance, its benefits, and how it can safeguard the livelihood of vineyard owners.
The Importance of Grape Crop Insurance
Grape crop insurance is a specialized form of crop insurance tailored to the unique risks associated with grape production. Grape crop insurance is an Actual Production History policy. You are using an average of your historical production to determine the expected crop tonnage and value. It serves several critical purposes:
Protection Against Natural Disasters
Vineyards are vulnerable to various natural disasters, including hailstorms, frost, excessive rainfall, and wildfires. A sudden and severe weather event can devastate a grape harvest, leading to significant financial losses. Grape crop insurance helps vineyard owners recover from these unexpected setbacks. You are also covered for wildlife damage which could include birds, bears, deer etc.
Grape crop insurance promotes financial stability for vineyard owners. It provides a safety net that allows them to continue their operations even in the face of adversity. This stability is crucial, as the grape cultivation process is a long-term endeavor, with vines taking years to reach full production potential. Grape Crop insurance is there to keep you growing.
Support for the Wine Industry
The grape industry is a cornerstone of the global wine sector. Grape crop insurance not only benefits vineyard owners but also contributes to the overall success and sustainability of the wine industry. It ensures a consistent supply of high-quality grapes, which is essential for winemakers and consumers alike.
Types of Grape Crop Insurance
There are several types of grape crop insurance policies available to vineyard owners:
Yield protection policies provide coverage based on the actual grape yield. If the yield falls below a certain threshold due to covered perils, the policyholder is compensated for the loss. You can choose coverage levels from 50% all the way to 85% of your historical average.
Whole Farm Revenue Protection
This type of insurance covers all the crops on the farm, including grapes, making it suitable for vineyards with diversified agricultural operations. You can have yield coverage and have Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) in addition as an extra layer of security.
The USDA provide support to grape crop insurance programs. Subsidies and incentives make these policies more affordable for vineyard owners, encouraging wider adoption and helping ensure the sustainability of the grape industry. Your premium is partially subsidized through the USDA, the amount of subsidy changes with coverage levels.
Grape crop insurance is available in the following states; Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington state. Crop insurance may not be available in all counties in these states. But in a lot of cases, if you have a mature producing vineyard, you may be able to get coverage through a special request to the USDA.
Grape crop insurance is an essential tool for vineyard owners, protecting their investments and ensuring the longevity of their vineyards. It safeguards against the unpredictable challenges of nature and diseases while promoting financial stability and supporting the larger wine industry.