One of the hot topics in the industry these days is the controversy surrounding glyphosates and their effect (or lack thereof) on our world. I am the first to admit that I am simply not educated enough to dive into that debate, so instead, let me put my energy into reminding us all of the best ways to remain issue-free when desiccating your crop this fall:
- Don’t ignore the obvious. Wind mixed with fall chemical application can be a deadly combination. We have seen yards that took decades to grow and mature, damaged by spray drift, and valuable crops weeks away from harvest lost due to improper boundaries or conditions while spraying. Respect the wind and its potential effect on your neighbors.
- Don’t forget about the risk of inversion. Depending on the weather, the shorter days in fall can lead to a higher risk of inversion, which again, mixed with a fall chemical application can be deadly. To know if inversion is possible, you need to pay close attention to the current weather conditions, and also the temperatures at ground level and at waist level prior to attempting to spray.
- Double check your insurance coverage if you are being asked to perform any work for a third-party farm. Many farm liability insurance policies now specifically exclude any custom spraying done, leaving you at risk of having to pay for damages out of your own pocket (or crop) if something does go sideways. A simple discussion with your insurance broker will provide clarity on whether you are covered or need to enhance your coverage to extend to this exposure.
- Use the proper nozzles and volume – this will help to achieve the best possible results while spraying, and also reduce the risk of your chemical drifting to unwanted locations. If your sprayer is not set up for proper fall application, there are custom applicators willing to provide this service.
Alternately, if you are custom applicating, and working long days to get all desiccation completed before harvest, here are a few reminders for you in addition to those already mentioned:
- Document everything – keep a log of the date, time, wind speed, product & volume applied as well as noting other weather factors. This will go a long way in defending you should there be an alleged claim made against you.
- Double check before you start – we have seen several claims made against applicators for spraying the wrong field. When you are spraying fields that you may have never seen before, there is a risk of misapplication. GPS coordinates should be used to reduce this risk. However, our experience has shown that the risk of misapplication becomes more common when there is a rush to get work done; mixed with lack of rest and stress, this combination has led to large losses.
Would you like to work with an insurance broker who provides advice, not just insurance? Consider making Rempel Insurance Brokers your insurance broker of choice. We work hard to make sure our clients have the resources required to make good decisions on risk.
Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business!
David Schmidt is an Account Executive at Rempel Insurance Brokers in Morris, MB, specializing in insuring farms and businesses across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Office (204) 746-2320 Text (204) 712-6618 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.rempelinsurance.com