Lake Erie Regional Grape Program Enrollment

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  • Farm Business

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FALL   •   WINTER   •   SPRING   •   SUMMER          New Vineyard Timeline
Grape - Spring Content


Crop Insurance

Kevin Martin, Extension Educator, Business Management
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program

March 7, 2013

Benefits & Claims

The 2012 crop year provided an unnecessary reminder of the role crop insurance plays in modern agriculture.  Significant spring freeze events reduced regional yields by 50%.  If crop insurance had been implemented by all growers at the 65% - 75% level of coverage, payments would have easily been in excess of $10,000,000.  Premiums paid by regional growers would total approximately 900,000 annually.  This illustrates the experience most growers have with crop insurance.  In the event of a significant loss, the cash value of a claim typically covers the financial cost of premiums for 10 to 12 years.


Financial costs of crop insurance include an annual administrative fee and an annual insurance premium.  The premium is based on the value of the maximum claim.  For a typical Concord grower with a six ton average, premiums are approximately $30 per acre for 70% coverage.  Changes in yield and price significantly impact the cost of the premium.  

Crop insurance requires an investment in time, as well.  Walking into the purchase of crop insurance with the expectation that there will be an annual investment in time immensely increases the probability that you will remain committed to the program.  This investment of time has led to the decline in CAT (catastrophic) coverage.  Typically CAT coverage results in claims once every ten or twenty years.  Despite the extremely high level of premium subsidy, growers tend to give up CAT policies.  The time associated with filing paperwork, filing potential claims and shopping policies appears onerous when the probability of a claim is very low.

Expected Value

On average the typical expected value of crop insurance is approximately $3 for each $1 in premium purchased.  Block divisions, site conditions and production risk do have the ability to change the risk of loss significantly.  Those with less production risk and other factors tend to see a lower than average expected value.  That being said, for nearly all growers a gross expected value of $.90 would be entirely adequate to justify the purchase of crop insurance.

Upcoming Events

LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting #1 -Special Spotted Lanternfly Focus

Event Offers DEC Credits

May 1, 2024 : LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting
North East, PA

Come learn how to manage SLF when it arrives.  Discussion will be centered around Spotted Lanternfly research, management, experience and best practice for dealing with new and established infestations.  Lunch is provided today.   

LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting #2

Event Offers DEC Credits

May 8, 2024 : LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting
Irving, NY

Come join us for timely and pertinent vineyard discussion, coffee, donuts, camaraderie and pesticide credits.

LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting #3

Event Offers DEC Credits

May 15, 2024 : LERGP Coffee Pot Meeting
Ripley, NY

Come join us for timely and pertinent vineyard discussion, coffee, donuts, camaraderie and pesticide credits.


Commercial Vehicle Awareness slide presentation

NYS Trooper, Matt Luft, presented on Commercial Vehicle Awareness at CLEREL on Thursday, August 2nd.  He has given us the permission to share his slides for you to reference at your convenience to share with others or to review. Please reference this link. 

LERGP Podcasts- check them out!


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