The Challenge: Obtaining accurate, easily-gathered crop damage information that farmers and their insurance adjusters trust to be correct.
The Solution: FarmTRX Yield Monitor technology combined with other data-gathering tools, like drone imagery, produces accurate and verifiable crop damage claims.
Why Does it Matter: More frequent weather events are making farming more challenging and riskier. Farmers need confidence that the farm insurance they pay for will fairly cover future crop damage losses.
Location: Kisbey, Saskatchewan
Combines: New Holland TR98, TR96, TX66
Crop Type: Barley, Canola, Flax, Peas and Wheat
Combining FarmTRX Yield Monitor Tech with Drone Imagery for Insurance Claim Success
As every farmer knows, filing crop insurance claims can be a hair-pulling, nightmare of a task. Not only is the field scouting and paperwork a significant time suck, but how do farmers accurately connect the dots between an insured event and subsequent yield impact for their insurance auditors?
Especially when the crop damage is spread across 1000s of acres, different crops and doesn’t uniformly affect a single field. Farmers spend billions annually purchasing crop insurance, yet without good data to measure crop damage, they rely upon best guesses for filing insurance claims in a crop-damaging disaster. Neither farmers nor insurance adjusters are happy with the process, especially as profit margins shrink.
Matching Evidence of Grazing Damage with Yield Loss
Glenn Maitland’s farm borders the edge of Moose Mountain Provincial Park, a natural preserve. Deer and large herds of elk enjoy easy grazing access to Maitland’s farm.
In 2021, Maitland experienced grazing damage on about 70% of his 1400-acre farm across most of his 19 fields. The damage was scattered through his fields. Heavier grazing occurred where the herds entered a field and away from other physical characteristics – like houses and farm buildings on the edge of a field. The extent and sporadic nature of the damage made it hard to catalog. Just one 90-acre field with various field entry points would easily take four or five hours of travel and observation time to assess accurately.
“The damage was so huge. How could an adjuster wrap their mind around it and compute it accurately? We needed a proof-point that the adjustor and I could both rely on,” Maitland says.
FarmTRX Yield Maps Plus Drone Imagery for Accurate Insurance Claims
By combining accurate yield monitor technology with drone imagery, farmers like Maitland can link the crop damage cause to the yield impact effect with visual and numerical proof.
In Maitland’s case, he uses drone images to document the one to two-foot-wide game trails entering and crisscrossing his fields. This visible proof gives his adjustor the evidence of damage he needs while saving hours of what would have been tedious and less accurate in-field surveying. Then Maitland defined the extent and amount of yield loss geo-located on his FarmTRX yield maps and cross-referenced that information with his drone imagery.
In Maitland’s case, his FarmTRX yield maps showed unaffected areas in one of his flax fields (Field 4) produced 20 to 25 bushels per acre, whereas grazed sections were as low as eight to nine bushels per acre, a 60% lower yield. An adjacent field (Field 27) was completely decimated, averaging just 6 bushels an acre. But with such significant damage, how could the adjuster estimate what the Field 27’s yield should have been?
Maitland and his adjuster found an easy solution using the yield maps from Field 27 to establish a yield baseline and thereby estimate the loss in Field 4. “This was so much harder prior to the yield monitors,” Maitland recalls.
All told, the damage to Maitland’s crop was significant. But the anxiety and stress over his crop insurance claims was gone. With the help of FarmTRX yield maps and drone imagery filing Maitland’s insurance claims had never been more straightforward or more accurate.
“It worked awesome. I sat down with my adjustor with the drone images, yield maps and yield counts determined. They wrote the check based on the yield monitor report. I walked away this year feeling fairly treated since it’s backed up by numbers,” Maitland recalls.
For Maitland installing FarmTRX Yield Monitors has been a win all around. He’s confident that if he purchases crop insurance, it will pay out fairly and keep him farming, regardless of crop damage events. He knows if he has to file claims, the stress over the process will be minimal. And he’s got more precise data to help him make better farming decisions for a more reliably resilient and profitable farming future.
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