Beginning farmer Cody Bornholdt returned to the family farm in 2011 in Inman, Kansas, after finishing college to find himself in the middle of what would be a multi-year drought in the southern plains. Bornholdt said that given the amount of risk that farmers face to put a crop in the ground, crop insurance is an invaluable risk management tool. “As a beginning farmer, it is essential for me to cover my investment as I take on a big risk with a lot of capital investment into these crops,” he said.
Bornholdt noted that his decision to purchase crop insurance yearly gives him peace of mind, even in the worst of times. “It’s nice to know and it makes it easy to sleep at night when you are in a year like this year when it’s a catastrophe or a drought,” he said. “Not knowing if you’re going to have a crop in the fall … knowing that you have your crops covered and you’ll be able to make ends meet at the end of the year and get that note paid off is a huge relief,” he said.
Lindsborg, Kansas, farmer Tom Toll explained that given increased expenses, the constant volatility of the market, the uncertainty in the world and the chance that his entire investment in crops and livestock could disappear overnight, purchasing crop insurance was the only thing that let him sleep at night.
Toll noted that those who choose to not purchase crop insurance are taking an enormous risk that could cost them everything. “One hail storm, an early frost, one of those things, could put your farm in jeopardy this year,” he said.
Pala, California, citrus producer Raymond Lodge said that farmers purchase crop insurance for the same reason car owners and home owners purchase insurance: the cost of complete loss is too high. “One cannot eliminate totally the risk of life but having crop insurance has been a godsend for us,” he said.