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Crop Insurance Provides Relief for Grape Growers in Wake of Wildfires

No one has more respect for Mother Nature than farmers. In Sonoma County alone, with close to 60,000 acres under vine, almost 70 percent are insured against any number of the vagaries that can occur– and there is a reason for that.

Summer Jeffus, the Regional Marketing Manager for American AgCredit, one of the premier organizations based in Sonoma County that provides crop insurance relief to growers, attests to the present year faced with adversity.

“We started with hail at the beginning of the growing season, then heat waves and early rains at the beginning of harvest” Summer said. “And now the Northern California’s Wine Industry has taken another hit from the wildfires raging through our regions. The 2017 vintage is one for the history books.”

Fortunately, for growers throughout California, Oregon and Washington there is an excellent, federally subsidized program administered through American AgCredit that provides protection against such financial losses in the vineyard.

Besides offering agricultural financing and leasing, American AgCredit’s crop insurance protection covers unavoidable loss due to adverse weather, bird and wildlife damage, diseases and pests, and smoke taint. Crop insurance is an average grape production yield guarantee.

The amount of coverage ranges from between 50 and 85 percent and is derived by a calculation that takes into account the grape variety, total number of acres, average yield per acre and percent of coverage selected. America AgCredit provides vineyard owners with a crop insurance worksheet to calculate their benefits, which can be accessed below.

Download Worksheet: Napa, Sonoma-Marin, Mendocino, Lake County

“Because we are USDA regulated, our rates and premiums are reasonable, unlike any other insurance,” confirms Fred Carvajal, Crop Insurance Agent with American AgCredit. “It’s very affordable. The difference with us is our level of experience. We specialize in wine grape crop insurance. Our mission is to make sure our customers receive their full benefits and this sets us apart from the other insurers.”

American AgCredit Crop Insurance Agent Shannon Antonini said she has seen many people with lower levels of coverage, but once a grower has a loss, they can see the value of American AgCredit’s program.

“Forty eight percent of those that buy crop insurance are insured for between 70 to 75 percent,” Shannon said. “It just makes sense to protect your investment. That’s why we’re here.”

The last day to sign up for the 2018 crop year in January 31, 2018 for California and November 20, 2017 for Washington and Oregon.

In addition to providing crop insurance protection for grape growers, American AgCredit also specializes in leasing a wide range of farming and harvesting equipment, from tractors to above ground irrigations systems. Brand new this year on the North Coast is a crop insurance policy for olive orchards that produce oil.

For more information or to speak to an American AgCredit agent, go to: www.agloan.com.

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