Date: Nov 01, 2014
November 2014: Drought Diagnosis--Difficult Year Ahead

“The worst drought we’ve seen in modern records,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.  The U.S. Drought Monitor says nearly 60 percent of California is in “exceptional drought,” the top of the scale it uses to measure severity, with the entire state in some sort of drought and 95 percent in severe drought or worse.

Growers in California and Arizona are well aware of the water shortages they are facing for the coming seasons and perhaps beyond. However, they may not know how Western Growers can help them protect themselves from losses.

In the past year, Western Growers worked actively both with strawberry growers and the federal government to modify the previous regulations governing crop insurance for strawberries.  On the heels of that success, Western Growers continues to get involved to update or initiate coverage for crops that are either underinsured or aren’t insured currently.

For both avocado and citrus growers, for example, adequate water supply is an especially serious concern.  With ground water now under state regulation and no signs of the drought abating this season, all growers in California are facing uncertainty going into 2015.

Luckily, Western Growers Insurance Services offers crop insurance for many types of fresh crops.  For growers who have not insured their crops in the past, this year may be a good year to start.  Once local water authorities choose to regulate how much water goes to farms, crop insurance purchased afterwards cannot cover known conditions.  So, growers whose municipalities have not sent formal notifications about water austerity for the coming year may still be able to insure their crops against losses due to drought.

As a reminder, growers can choose from two types of crop insurance:

•             Catastrophic: This is basic coverage against ruinous damage to a crop. It is less expensive, and it pays out at about a quarter of the value of the crop that was destroyed.

•             Multiple Peril: This coverage protects you at lower loss levels and can be triggered by any of several factors, including drought.  Payout levels are based on the deductibles and plan choices each grower makes.  Multi-peril insurance is more expensive, and the cost varies by what crop it’s covering and that crop’s value.

Now is the time to analyze whether crop insurance is part of an overall insurance strategy. To get started, contact Greg Nelson, assistant vice president of commercial lines for Western Growers Insurance Services, at (949) 885-2287 or  He and his staff will help you assess your insurance needs, recommend options to help you manage risk to your crops and guide you through the process.



Upcoming deadlines


If your company grows the following crops, your deadline for purchasing insurance for the coming season is approaching fast. (Reporting dates vary by crop.)  To start the process of insuring your crops, contact Greg Nelson, assistant vice president of commercial lines for Western Growers Insurance Services, at (949) 885-2287 or


Pasture rangeland forage             November 15

Blueberries         November 20

Citrus    November 20

Avocado              November 30

Almonds              December 31

Safflower            December 31

Pistachios            December 31

Tomatoes            January 31

Fresh Market Tomatoes               January 31

Apples  January 31

Apricots               January 31

Cherries               January 31

Grapes January 31

Nectarines          January 31

Olives    January 31

Pears     January 31

Peaches               January 31

Plums    January 31

Prune    January 31

Table Grapes     January 31

Walnuts               January 31

WG Staff Contact

Greg Nelson
Vice President, WGIS Sales

Join Western Growers

Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

You May Also Like…