Showing posts from tagged with: agribusiness risk management

How to Reduce the Risk of Salmonella on Poultry Farms

Posted August 6, 2018 by Administrator

The CDC estimates Salmonella causes 1 million foodborne illnesses per year. Of those incidents, 19,000 result in hospitalization and more than 300 end in death. Individuals suffering from Salmonella often experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, and a fever. More often than not, individuals who contract the disease had multiple elements at play such as not cooking the poultry to the correct temperature. However, poultry farmers have a duty to reduce the risk and spread of Salmonella by adhering to best practices on the farm.

6 Ways to Reduce Bad Bacteria Contamination

Bacterial contagions come from a variety of sources. The most common include:

  • Water
  • Wild birds or pests
  • Visitors
  • Farm personnel’s hygiene and sanitation

To stop the spread of Salmonella on the farm, farmers and workers need to focus on the following areas:

  1. Cleanliness and hygiene. Growing houses are a significant source of contamination on farms. Workers need to ensure they clean these areas between flocks to prevent the spread of residual bacteria. Keeping pests such as flies and rodents under control can help with these efforts as well.
  2. Managing water sources. Water is an easy way for Salmonella bacteria to spread from bird to bird. Some tactics that prove effective are utilizing chlorinated water or organic acids.
  3. Reducing dust. Much like water, dust can contribute to the spread of Salmonella. Farmers should aim for dust levels at 3mg per cubic meter or less.
  4. Contaminated grains can result in Salmonella in the final feed product. Farmers should only purchase grain and feed from mills that adhere to rigorous quality control standards.
  5. Encouraging proper gut flora. Farmers need to establish a good gut flora balance in chicks within days of hatching. This can prevent Salmonella from colonizing them. Ways to achieve this include organic acids, enzymes, and yeast technologies.
  6. Cocci management. Coccidiosis is a disease that affects the intestines of birds and causes diarrhea. It also contributes to the spread of Salmonella so farmers need to implement effective controls to reduce instances of coccidiosis.

Raising healthy poultry free from contagion isn’t just a good farming practice; it also helps keep consumers in good health. Salmonella is just one of the risks poultry farmers have to manage. To learn more about protecting your poultry farm, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Four Critical Skills for Running a Successful Agribusiness

Posted April 17, 2018 by Administrator

In previous decades, farmers only needed to know how to grow and sustain crops to be successful. Now, the ability to produce a product is a given in farming. With improved technology and communication, almost anyone can grow crops with a modicum of success. Standing out above the competition, however, takes much more work. Farmers now must possess growing power and business savvy to differentiate and remain relevant.

Business Skills and Leadership in Farming

Bringing business skills into the farming industry increases the complexity but also the rewards. Farmers can no longer only rely on their skills at cultivating crops. The following are just some of the areas farmers must learn to navigate to keep ahead of rival operations:

  1. Innovative finance administration
  2. Consumer research and marketing
  3. How to apply and use agricultural technology
  4. Risk management strategies

Risk management, in particular, is a multi-layered concept. Farmers must consider how to avoid risks as well as deal with them should they occur. For example, farmers can take several measures to prevent fires; however, failing to establish a system to manage the aftermath of a fire is foolhardy. Even with the best preventative measures in place, accidents can happen. That is why farmers need to incorporate a number of insurance policies to protect their farm. Failing to invest in insurance coverage can bankrupt a farmer and destroy his or her operation.

The time has come and gone where successful farmers only needed to be good at production. Farmers that fail to improve their business expertise will find themselves falling behind those that invest in marketing, technology, and more to protect their assets. Cline Wood can help struggling farmers navigate the changing landscape of the agriculture industry while putting safeguards in place to protect their farm. Contact us today to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Four Categories of Critical Agribusiness Risk

Posted March 12, 2018 by Administrator

Farmers and farmhands expose themselves to several risks on a regular basis. Some of the top threats include heat-related illnesses, vehicle hazards, fall hazards, and more. By familiarizing themselves with these risks, farmers and their workers can ward off injuries.

Heat Risks

Heat illnesses can prove lethal; however, they are 100% avoidable. Many farms are hot and humid, which puts workers at risk for heat exposure. Heavy lifting or wearing heavy protective gear can compound this risk so it is important that workers take the proper precautions to protect themselves from heat illnesses. Farmers and workers need to ensure they stay hydrated and rest often in the shade. Dehydration happens faster than many realize, so workers should try to drink water every 15 minutes even if they do not feel thirsty.

Vehicle Hazards

Vehicle injuries account for a significant portion of farming accidents every year. Farm tractors, harvesters, and ATVs all cause accidents on farms. Rollovers are one of the most lethal farming accidents. Equipping vehicles with roll bars or roll cages whenever possible can help save lives. Other safety measures include wearing a seatbelt, prohibiting passengers from riding in farming equipment, and only operating vehicles on the appropriate terrain (e.g. do not operate ATVs on streets or paved roads).

Fall Hazards

Fall hazards are not unique to farming. However, compared to other industries, farming experiences a much higher rate of fall-related injuries. To mitigate this risk, farmers need to take three steps. Identify fall hazards, assess the likelihood of an injury occurring from each hazard, and implement control measures to eliminate or minimize the risks. Examples of control measures include eliminating the risk, substituting the risk with a less hazardous option, isolating the risk to minimize the number of employees that must interact with it, utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize the effects of the risk, and more.

Grain Bins and Silos

Compared to the above, grain bins and silos may not seem so threatening. However, these structures can combust, cause engulfment, or dust exposure. Of those three, engulfment is most likely to prove lethal. Moving grain acts like quicksand and can engulf workers, sometimes resulting in suffocation. Establishing procedures such as never walking across moving grain can eliminate this threat.

Farmers and workers that familiarize themselves with common hazards can take steps to reduce the likelihood of those risks occurring. Cline Wood can help farmers identify the risks that are unique to their operation as well as what steps to take to mitigate them. To learn more about farming safety, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Managing Agribusiness Risk: Tank Maintenance Practices

Posted July 26, 2016 by Administrator

Agribusiness InsuranceOperating in the agribusiness industry often requires you to store hazardous material on your property. Whether it’s petroleum, fertilizer or chemicals in large tanks, you run significant risks should a leak ever occur. Adhering to well-organized maintenance practices can dramatically reduce the incidence and extent of leakage, saving your business time and money while preserving your reputation.

Inspecting the Seams – Tanks often develop leaks along the seams. They may be small and difficult to see at first but then the seam will rupture and the resulting leak can cause severe damage to soil and ground water. Routine inspection of tank seams will help you see when it is time to reinforce or replace a tank.

Inspect the Valves – Another common area where leaks occur is at the valves. Valves are turned frequently, the wear and tear of the consistent use can cause threads to strip, and leaks may occur. Frequent inspection and lubrication of the valves will extend their usefulness and prevent the possibility of leaks. Lubricating the valves can help prevent them from seizing, another common cause of leaks. If a valve freezes and an employee has to break it free, then the damage to the valve may cause it to leak or burst.

Inspect the Pipe Lines – Pipelines and hoses are another possible trouble spot for leaks. They can become brittle in severe cold or they may become damaged when they are run over or struck. Sometimes lines and hoses develop pinhole leaks, which will leech into the soil for a long period before the damage is noticed. Frequent inspection of all pipelines and hoses will allow you to change out the damaged lines and reduce the chance of a leak developing.

When a tank ruptures, it can cause financial and environmental damage. However, not all leaks occur because of a rupture in the tank. Inspecting the seams, valves, lines and hoses will help you prevent some leaks before they occur and reduce the risk of contaminating the soil or local water supply. To learn more about agribusiness risk management, contact us.

3 Ways Agribusiness Owners Can Lower Their Insurance Premiums

Posted July 28, 2015 by Administrator

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Insurance agencies often offer credits for lower insurance premiums based on specific factors, such as driving records, worker’s compensation history and recorded training programs. Here are the top tips for saving money on insurance costs for agribusiness insurance costs:

  1. Increase your deductible

When you raise your deductible to the highest amount you are comfortable handling, it lowers your monthly premium.

Depending on the type of buildings you have, you may be able to reduce your premium by electing to go with an actual cash settlement as opposed to a replacement cost settlement. You may also be allowed to exclude coverage on buildings that you would not elect to rebuild in event of a major loss.

You can apply these principles to motor vehicles as well. You may elect to not have physical damage coverage on some or all of your vehicles in order to save money on monthly premiums.

  1. Put safety first

Setting up a well-documented safety program is a great way to ensure insurance savings. Create a culture of safety by being organized, keeping your facility neat and orderly, and making sure all required regulations (such as fire extinguishers) are installed and maintained. Make sure all employees are wearing goggles and gloves when working with anhydrous. Ensure all employees know and follow all safety policies and procedures.

One strategy for ensuring a culture of safety is to appoint someone to be the “safety coordinator.” This helps to keep everyone accountable and ensures quality control checks are kept up-to-date.

Another strategy is to investigate all accidents to find out what caused the accident and what could be done to prevent future incidences. Building a safety culture can result in lowered insurance premiums.

  1. Be Diligent about Prevention Measures

Insuring a feed and grain facility is not like insuring an office building. Unlike barns or other agriculture buildings, an office building has a much lower risk of dangers such as fire or explosions. There are a lot of hazards in an agricultural setting than many other types of work environments. Regularly conducting facility maintenance, maintaining regular sanitation routines and keeping things organized and put away where they belong can go a long way toward reducing the risk of fire or other disasters.

Installing preventative measures such as heat warning devices, spark detectors and flame suppressants will help to reduce the fire risk. Bundling wires together, keeping floors and working areas tidy, replacing bad belts and bearings are examples of ways regular maintenance and upkeep can lead to lower insurance premiums by reducing accidents that my cause harm to your employees and the facility.

Energy and Natural Resource Companies Need Strong Risk Management Strategies

Posted June 2, 2015 by Administrator

shutterstock_115189144Risk management for the energy and natural resources (ERN) industry has come of age; early adopters of risk management efforts need to reconsider their strategies and expectations, according to a study released by KPMG Global Energy Institute (2014.) The study, No Paper Chase: Transforming Risk Management at Energy and Natural Resources Companies, can be found at KPMG International.

The research for the study was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. A total of 1,092 C-level executives responded to the questionnaire.

The study, released in 2014, found that overall, the energy sector has done well thanks to strong prices and expanding production. However, the risk factors for energy and natural resource companies has become more complex as companies are going into more remote regions of the world to search for natural resources. Often, the environment is under threat in these remote areas.

Technology is creating new opportunities for ERN companies, especially for the development of oil and gas fields in fields that were previously impenetrable.

Labor tensions are common in the industry and the public is often hostile to ERN companies, posing additional risks.

All of these findings demonstrate that today’s complex business environment requires a strong ability to master risk management. Large oil and gas companies in particular were early adopters of risk management programs, but progress in this area has not progressed as fast as the business environment. Companies need to re-evaluate their risk management strategies and reconsider their expectations in order to take risk management to the next level.

The knowledgeable staff at Cline Wood understands the unique risks of the energy sector. We are here to help create a plan that best protects your business. Contact us today at 888-451-3900.

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