Buyer Beware

By Travis Keister
With the success in the farming industry as of lately, a lot of folks are looking for ways to capitalize off the industry’s good fortunes. Whether it’s a new piece of equipment or the latest and greatest fertilizer, new products are popping up to give a helping hand and address every need a farmer can think of. Buyer Beware. Unfortunately a number of these products are not the quality they claim to be. It has never been more important for a famer to do the due diligence and take some real time to learn about what they are purchasing. 
The crop insurance market, specifically, is not immune to this occurrence. More and more companies are coming out with private products that can snap on to your Federal Crop policy or stand alone. Some of these products are very sound insurance plans, some are not. Take the time to question the details. Ask yourself what the product is trying to accomplish and what the alternative to the product would be. The rating of the product is important too. Always look to your federal crop policy to determine the soundness of the rate. For example, if the rate for federal crop insurance covering optional units runs $20 per acre, and a private product trying to accomplish something similar is selling for $8 per acre, something sounds fishy. It would be fair to say that the likely hood of that product ever truly triggering would be very poor.
Overall a booming industry is never a bad thing. It does make it important to have a trusted advisor that can shed light on some of the new ideas and products, and help separate the good from the scams.