Climate Change and the Shifting Landscape in Agribusiness

Sep 13, 2019 / by Rich Pelkofsky

From record heat waves to the coldest of winters, hurricanes, droughts and flooding, it’s no secret that our climate and weather are changing…and changing the agribusiness insurance landscape with it.

In 2018, the California Camp Fire wildfire resulted in more than $16 billion in loss. Flooding in the Midwest resulted in crop contamination from nearby livestock fields. And the crippling cold from two polar vortexes in the last five years caused frozen pipes and burst boilers, leading to property and equipment damage claims.

These new and challenging risks mean farmers and agribusiness insurers must rethink their product offerings and support, focusing on sensor technology to help them predict losses and respond quickly to claims.

Sensors are proving to be critical in predicting loss. Farmers in the past could use a handheld soil moisture probe sensor that can measure the soil moisture and nutrient consistency. Now, large crop farms can use wireless sensor probes to measure their soil moisture, helping them determine where irrigation is needed in real time. Unmanned aircraft provide additional oversight and can transmit the data directly to the farmer’s laptop. Temperature sensors on boilers, pipes and irrigation systems can alert operators via text if the equipment is too hot or too cold, preventing equipment failure and resulting property loss. Temperature sensors can also monitor livestock heating and cooling systems, helping farmers prevent not only equipment failure but animal loss.

For the agribusiness insurer, changing farming methods mean changing insurance offerings. AAIS is currently developing agribusiness property coverage for the agriculture commercialization, including forms that will deal with the unique challenges that climate change has brought. Our Farm & Ag team is also exploring forms, ratings and coverage for modern agribusiness, including vertical farms, agritainment, and microbreweries. We’re also studying how our openIDL blockchain platform can track product recalls and pinpoint the area, farm, and even crop field responsible for tainted product.

Weather changes and the resulting impact on the farm and agriculture business mean that farmers must quickly respond to unknown challenges. With new technology and AAIS’s evolving advisory services, they’re up to the challenge.

Tags: Robotics, Issues & Trends, Data & Technology, New/Emerging Risks, Climate Change, Agribusiness, Farm & Ag

Rich Pelkofsky

Written by Rich Pelkofsky

Farm & Ag Product Manager - Rich is AAIS’s Farm & Ag Product Manager, responsible for developing and maintaining our Farm & Ag products and partnering with the Far & Ag insurance community. Rich has spent more than 30 years in Agricultural insurance as an agent, agency owner, marketing representative and Senior Product Specialist in Farm forms. Rich has received his CPCU, CRM, CIC, AFIS and CCP designations.

These new and challenging risks mean farmers and agribusiness insurers must rethink their product offerings and support, focusing on sensor technology to help them predict losses and respond quickly to claims.

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