by Teresa Opheim, Senior VP, Iroquois Valley Farms
Iroquois Valley Farms has reached a milestone: This spring we added the 50th farm to our portfolio. Our farmland REIT — honored as a “Best for the World” company from B Labs — provides secure land tenure for 35 farm families working nearly 9,000 acres of farmland. More families will be joining the Iroquois Valley Farms fold soon.
“When the money came through my phone via M-Pesa, I was sure it was a mistake! I was sure someone had erroneously sent me money. So I waited for the sender to call me and demand that I return the money,” Jacinta Mutuse, a farmer from Wote, Makueni County, Kenya, narrates. She had just received about KES 900 (USD 9) on her mobile phone as a payout through the Replanting Guarantee Maize Insurance Product (RPG). The RPG is an index product which covers the risk of poor rainfall during the crops’ germination phase that necessitates replanting.
Matt Ritenour is a crop insurance specialist for MidAtlantic Farm Credit and has been helping farmers manage the risks of dealing with Mother Nature and market fluctuations since 2005.
The spring sales season for crop insurance is just around the corner, with important decisions needing to be made and new programs from the 2014 Farm Bill to be carefully considered. Here are just a few of the new changes for the 2015 crop year: