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Michigan Ag News Headlines
Educational series offers insurance basics on managing production and price risk
Michigan Ag Connection - 02/05/2024

Michigan State University Extension launched a new webinar series beginning in 2023 to aid producers in understanding risk protection programs. The Farm Policy and Risk Management Series offers educational insight and resources on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) insurance programs designed to help mitigate production and price risk. Each webinar session focused on a specific Michigan production area. These sessions reviewed basics of insurance and how producers can utilize programs to maximize benefits, including understanding the different policies, the ways each provides protection and the advantages offered by each. Michigan farmers can better manage potential risks from weather and volatile markets by understanding which options best fit their specific challenges, needs and production area.

Recordings of sessions are now available, with one live session remaining on the Farm Bill before the series conclusion. Sessions have featured an array of guest speakers or panelists from within the insurance industry, including GreenStone Farm Credit Services, several independent agencies and university experts.

Fruit session The fruit session focused on insurance options for Michigan tree fruit and small fruit growers. The session reviewed various program details, coverage levels available and how payouts are calculated. The session featured Cory Blumerick from GreenStone Farm Credit Service as a guest co-speaker.

Beef and swine session The beef and swine session focused on the Livestock Risk Protection Program administered by the USDA Risk Management Agency. It is a subsidized program and is purchased as insurance from the same agents that crop insurance is purchased. During this session, topics outlined how the program functions, working with an insurance agent, developing protection strategies and how to calculate program costs versus indemnity payments.

Vegetable session The vegetable session explored several crop insurance programs for vegetable producers. Participants learned about policy options and what conditions activate their coverage plans. The session also highlighted program options based on farm scale. Some programs are tailored to large-scale production on well-established farms, where other programs work better for smaller-scale farms, especially those growing fresh market specialty crops. The session featured Brandon Walters from GreenStone Farm Credit Service as a guest co-speaker.

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