crop insurance ag. conservation innovators (fwd)

Victor Guest vic at
Sat May 16 14:41:24 EDT 1998

From: "John Vickery" <jvickery at>
To: Multiple recipients of list <ag-impact at>
Dear ag-impact subscribers:

This is possibly of interest to Organic or Bio-dynamic farmers.
I am posting a message on the behalf of Thomas A.Green, IPM Works, Madison,
WI (See contact info. below).  The content is not about environmental
impact assessment (EIA) in agriculture, but it may well be of interest to
those of you that are implementing projects that entail an EIA component:
crop insurance for your farmer cooperators.

Kindly direct your responses to  Dr. Green.


john vickery
ag-impact administrator


IPM Insurance Opportunities Wanted

Numerous studies have cited risk as a major reason that growers fail to
adopt conservation technologies such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
The Agricultural Conservation Innovation Center (ACIC) is seeking
opportunities to develop insurance policies to reduce risks growers face
when adopting IPM practices.

Two ACIC projects include:

I. IPM Insurance

Situations most amenable to IPM insurance are: (1) a pest problem occurs
infrequently, but growers spray regularly on a preventative basis because
the pest occurrence is not predictable; and (2) where growers fail to take
the advice of Extension or private consultants not to spray, due to the
risk that the no-spray recommendation may be wrong.

An example of (1) would be where a rain event during a specific crop stage
results in disease. The rain event only occurs once every few years, yet
because the occurrence is not predictable, growers treat every year with a
preventative fungicide. For less that the cost of the spray, they could
instead purchase insurance each year to cover their losses when the rain
event does occur.

For (2), an Extension program or private consultant may have an excellent
track record in making spray/no spray recommendations for specific pests,
yet some growers do not follow the no-spray advice due to the risk that the
recommendation might be wrong. In that case, the grower may be able to
purchase insurance, again for less that the cost of spraying, that would
compensate him/her should the recommendation prove wrong.

ACIC is seeking suggestions for possible opportunities to develop and apply
these types of policies.

II. Conservation Innovation Risk Fund

ACIC is developing a fund to insure growers participating in demonstration
projects for IPM or other conservation techniques. Large-scale
demonstrations are an effective way to increase grower adoption of new
techniques. Growers can be reluctant to use portions of their acreage for
the demonstration due to the risk of crop loss if something were to go
wrong. The fund would offer insurance to growers to reduce their risk of
participation. Suitable projects would include demonstrations of
commercially untested, innovative practices which have solid efficacy data
in smaller scale research trials. 

This type of insurance has been successfully to stimulate adoption of
cotton no-till and apple scab fungicide reduction. ACIC is seeking
potential projects which might benefit from availability of this type of

Finally, ACIC is developing an email mailing list to keep interested
individuals informed of progress on these projects. If you have a
suggestion for one of the above projects, or would like to receive updates
on our progress, please respond to:

Thomas A.Green, Ph.D.
IPM Works
2322 Keyes Ave.
Madison, WI 53711
608 255-9443
608 255-9469 (fax)
tagreen at

Agricultural Conservation Innovation Center (ACIC)
1400 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 1100
Arlington VA 22209-2308

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