By Clint Thompson
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That should be the mindset of specialty crop producers, especially in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
Farmers should always be prepared for the next natural disaster. In the Southeast, that may come in a variety of forms, says Bart Hester, agent with Country Financial in Moultrie, Georgia. He discussed the importance of farmers being prepared.
“Hurricane preparedness is a big thing, but with the way the weather is around here now, there’s thunderstorms and tornadoes, all of that is a preparedness cue for each person or farmer. Most farmers are pretty up on this. They’ve got a good inventory of what they have. They’ve got it in protected areas. Normally when we sit down as an agent with them, we’ll go over some of that preparedness. We want to make sure they understand these are things that need to be done to protect their assets,” Hester said.
“The big thing is keeping a good inventory of what you have. As a Country Financial agent and farm specialist, we take that time each year to go over that inventory with them. Make sure they haven’t sold anything, and they haven’t added something we don’t know about so that we have a really good picture.”
Growers are busy with the day-to-day farming operations that come with producing a crop, which can be year-round in some locations. General upkeep and inventory can fall by the wayside when it should be valued as of the utmost importance.
“That’s part of the farming persona. These guys go at it hard. Sometimes upkeep falls to second place. I’m seeing a lot in younger farmers in making sure they have proper equipment taking care of. Some of the older farmers are still stuck in their ways,” Hester said. “That’s where having a trusted partner and insurance agent really goes a long way.”