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Insure from the weather

Agriculture.com Staff 08/02/2011 @ 3:39pm

If you're concerned about not getting enough rain on your wheat crop between, say, May 15 and June 15, there's a new product for you.

WeatherBill, a world ag insurance company, has introduced a new weather insurance product for winter wheat. The company's Total Weather Insurance (TWI) Winter Wheat 2012 product will protect farmers from weather extremes using National Weather Service weather reporting as the baseline for potential payback stemming from weather-related losses, company officials say.

"The increased frequency of extreme weather events coupled with dramatically increased input costs exposes U.S. wheat growers to greater financial risk than ever before,” says David Friedberg, chief executive officer of WeatherBill. “Now, for the first time, growers can protect their profits from weather-related losses not covered by federal crop insurance.”

The product uses technology -- not in-field adjustment like typical crop insurance products -- to show the damage caused by weather. And, payments are sent automatically based on those conditions that are recorded using federal weather monitoring equipment.

"Even with the best farm management practices, the weather is what really makes or breaks winter wheat yields,” says Mark Hodges, Executive Director of Plains Grains, Inc. and former Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, in a report from WeatherBill. “Coming off a year when we have seen drought and heat decimate the crop in Oklahoma, Texas and parts of Kansas, growers may want to take a close look at solutions that reduce their exposure to financial losses caused by poor weather conditions."

And, the new WeatherBill product, some say, will become an everyday part of the management plan for a winter wheat crop, says crop insurance agent in Fremont, Ohio, Chuck Gabel.

"I recommend Total Weather Insurance to my clients as an important addition to their risk management strategy," Gabel says in a report from WeatherBill. “WeatherBill protects farmers against bad weather, which is a key risk to their livelihood that until now they could do very little about."

TWI Winter Wheat 2012 is available now in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming for the 2012 crop season. For more information, go online to weatherbill.com.

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