When Tim Ostroski, a dairy farmer from Sterling, Michigan, purchased crop insurance from Greenstone Farm Credit Services, he knew he was taking smart steps to protect his assets.
However, Tim never imagined that Mother Nature would give him her worst, triggering payments on all three of his policies in one year. Crop insurance specialist Scott Schmidt works with Tim and other farmers in the Bay City region to choose the right policy for their operation.
“As a dairy farmer, Tim understands the importance of insuring his corn,” said Scott. “The quality of your corn will ultimately affect overall milk production. If a farmer has to go out and buy corn due to significant loss, that expense has to come out of pocket unless there is an insurance policy in place.”
Negative weather impacts
“I told Scott I took all of my calamities in one year,” said Tim. “We got 13 inches of rain after we planted 750 acres of corn.” The unusually wet spring caused some of the acres to be replanted, and later that summer the area was hit hard with two separate hail storms. The hail significantly damaged crops and lowered yields. “It was the first time I ever purchase hail insurance, and the first time I had to use it,” he said. As the summer went on, things heated up, and the unusually wet spring turned into a hot and dry summer, which ultimately wreaked havoc on Tim’s corn, causing further production loss.
Positive working relationship
“Scott has made this easy,” said Tim. “He understands the products he is selling and he can demonstrate what will work best for my operation.” Scott says that he and Tim speak on the phone weekly, discussing markets and running numbers. “I tell Scott, in volatile times, a person’s success can be measured by who he surrounds himself with. The more volatile the times, the more you are dependent on those around you. And the more confident and knowledgeable those people are, the more profitable you’ll become.”
Looking to the future, Tim hopes the weather in 2017 is a little friendlier. “What are the odds that this will ever happen again?” he mused. One thing is certain, with the help of Greenstone, Tim will be ready no matter what Mother Nature brings.