harvest disaster

Harvest Disaster: Be Ready for the Unexpected

We don’t like to think about accidents on our farms, even though we work in one of the most dangerous industries. As a farmer, you’ve learned how to take the good with the bad when cultivating your land over the years. However, thinking about what can happen is essential. Farm owners can avoid crises and ensure their crews are prepared for the unexpected. But are you ready for the worst-case scenario?

Feed & Water Supply

Since no one can foretell the duration of a crisis, food and water for your home and barnyard are essential in an emergency. Plan ahead to always have at least one gallon of water per day for each person and animal on the farm. Since no one can foretell the duration of a crisis, it is suggested that full-feed bulk bins be provided or at least an alternative plan to access supplementary feed and water.

First Aid Kit

Be sure you and your workers know exactly what to do in an emergency. Everyone should know the first person to inform of a crisis and where their first-aid kit is located. Each kit should include bandages, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, peroxide, scissors, and tweezers.

Take Inventory

The worst time to find out that you don’t have enough insurance to cover your damages is when you need it. If you don’t already have one, make a list of vehicles, farm buildings and structures, crops and livestock. Take detailed notes and photos for insurance purposes. Reviewing this list on a minimum annual basis will keep your insurance up-to-date and keep in mind what you own.

Tools & Equipment Value

If your tools and equipment are insured for Actual Cash Value (ACV), ensuring you have the right value insured on your policy is best. Since the pandemic, the cost of things has fluctuated dramatically when compared to the combine harvester you purchased in 1998. If your insurance limit is too low, you must pay part of the repair/replacement bill out of pocket. If the accident occurs during harvest season, that’s not an easy thing to do. Don’t insure for the amount you paid for something. Set your value limit based on what it would cost you to buy it brand new in today’s pricing.

Farm Fires

Farm fires are devastating and can result in losing a business’s livelihood. Be careful not to park vehicles and motorized machinery near combustible items such as hay, chemicals or other farm products, as they can get very hot after use. Ensure that all machinery is properly cleaned after each use, as well as cleaning engines and outlets of dust and debris. Try to have a water source handy so small fires can be controlled and doused quickly while out in the fields or the corral.

Voluntary Firefighting

Voluntary firefighting coverage is an additional coverage option that farmers can consider. This optional coverage reimburses expenses for hiring volunteer firefighters to help extinguish a fire on the farm property. This coverage is beneficial in rural areas where there may not be a local fire department available to respond to an emergency. Depending on your location, multiple voluntary firefighting departments may respond if a fire occurs on your land. Every voluntary fire department will send an invoice if they are called to help put out the fire on your land. Each department’s rates may differ, and you could see anywhere from $900 to $1200 charged as an hourly fee. It’s always important to contact your local RM or Municipal Office to find out if your taxes cover these charges or add some additional coverage to your policy.

Adding Voluntary Firefighting to your policy will ensure you are financially supported if you receive a hefty bill after the fire’s put out. When choosing a farm insurance policy, it is essential to carefully review the terms and conditions of the policy and understand what is covered and what is not. Different policies offer different coverage levels, and choosing a policy that meets the farmer’s specific needs is essential.


Schedule a date and time to review your coverage with your broker so you don’t go into harvest with insurance that doesn’t have your back. Let our team know when in the year you’re ready to go through your coverages and set we’ll a reminder to give you a call.

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