Berino, New Mexico
From a six-year drought to hail damage and jackrabbits, Willie Hernandez faces plenty of perils while farming. Crop insurance helps manage those risks.
Willie Hernandez has been a successful farmer in Berino, New Mexico, for 39 years. Starting as a self-employed truck driver, Willie hauled hay, manure, cotton, and cottonseed. He started borrowing from Production Credit Association (PCA) in the late 1970s when he owned only five acres of cotton.
Today, Willie is farming 700+ acres of farmland including cotton, pecans, and alfalfa. Willie said that he learned early on that “weather is something you cannot do anything about.” Willie has been a long-time customer of Farm Credit of New Mexico and has carried Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) as well as private crop-hail insurance for as long as he can remember.
Much Needed Safety-Net
The weather in Las Cruces, NM and surrounding areas has seen an increasing amount of hail storms in the past few years. Willie has had a number of hail incidents in the past four years that have done serious damage to his cotton crop. “Having crop insurance has come in handy the last few years,” said Willie as he reflected back.
Willie has a few farms leased from different landowners that he farms when there is enough water allocated by the Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID). Whether Willie is allocated the water or not, his rent is still due to his landlords. Under Willie’s multi-peril crop insurance policy, he is able to claim “prevented planting” acres if there is not enough water supply for him to plant and water his crops that year. Southern New Mexico has been in a drought for the past six years, so Willie used his multi-peril crop insurance policy to keep those leases for when he was allocated enough water to plant his crops.
Coverage When it Counts
Some of the most common perils that our farmers face in Southern New Mexico is hail and wind. On Willie’s farm, he had an interesting peril that strayed away from the “normal” list of perils. Over the past six to seven years, Willie noticed that the jackrabbit population had increased. One of his farms that is up against a large sandhill was planted with 21 acres of cotton.
In the early growth stages of his cotton, 17 of those acres were completely destroyed by the jackrabbit population. The damages done by the jackrabbits were considered a loss under his crop insurance.
Willie is thankful for the coverage he has especially when unforeseen events take place. “Having insurance has really helped a lot,” he says.
Willie Hernandez is a valued customer of Farm Credit of New Mexico. They appreciate the trust he has placed in them.