National Farm Machinery Show Highlights - 2020

National Farm Machinery Show Highlights Blog Image

As technology evolves for agriculture and farming, so do the risks this technology puts into play.

Recently, we participated in the National Farm Machinery Show, February 10th - 13th. The show offers the most complete selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services available in the farming industry. Business professionals from around the world gain knowledge and hands-on access to various technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season during the four-day show.

As we met with some of the most influential individuals and businesses in the industry - many of them clients - “hot button” issues were discussed such as:

  • Cyber scams/phishing
  • Data security
  • Drone technology
  • Automated machinery: self-propelled machinery to take soil samples, mow areas that are at steep angle, etc.
  • Larger and more complex machinery to farm more acres with less people
  • App development to monitor equipment, grain bins, growing conditions

As it relates to our relationship with our clients, and the insurance and risk management space, we had several conversations regarding:

  • Health Insurance options (they are becoming fewer for two man groups)
  • Key Man Insurance as the smaller number of operators become more important
  • Workers’ Compensation vs Farm Employers Liability
  • Disability coverage
  • All physical damage coverage for farm equipment
  • Succession planning
  • Life insurance options as farmers phase out of term policies
  • Long term care

It is nearly impossible to detail four days of conversation in one post, but we wanted to provide some deeper insights into a few of the emerging risks in agriculture and farming. For those who work in the industry, there is a great need to understand risk and to protect themselves against it with the right agriculture insurance policies and more.

  • Cyber scams and phishing. Cyber scams and fishing are huge technology risks that people in all industries face. Becoming a victim leaves you and your farm vulnerable to far-reaching financial consequences.
  • Data security. As today’s farms become more connected and rely on technology to accomplish ordinary tasks, the threat of data security grows at alarming rates for farmers, placing them at risk should that data fall into the wrong hands.
  • Drones. There is no doubt that using drones for farming offers many potential benefits, allowing farmers to do more with fewer resources, however, there are risks involved as well, including loss of privacy, cyber security, data loss, and potential damage or injuries caused by the drone. Plus, there is always the risk of hacking.
  • Automated machinery. Technology is a marvelous thing. Cars are built to drive themselves these days. Automated farm equipment can be beneficial in many ways as well, such as collecting soil samples, mowing at hard to manage or steep angles, etc. Unfortunately, it isn’t the ideal solution for all farms or all farmers. Any farmer who chooses to manage machinery that employs advanced technology will need to be technologically savvy and well trained.
  • Larger, more complex machinery. As machinery becomes larger and more technologically dependent, the risks to farmers becomes greater. Without proper understanding of how to manage the advanced technology of these machines, disasters can happen for your planting and growing season. The idea is to manage more farm with fewer people. When things go wrong, though, you may need to bring in even more people to help make corrections.
  • Apps. Many applications are used to monitor equipment, grain bins, growing conditions, etc. Each application farmers download leaves them vulnerable to attacks from app developers as well as those who have learned to quickly identify and exploit app vulnerabilities.

The better farmers and people who work in agriculture understand the risks they face through emerging technology and more, the better they can anticipate and protect themselves against these emerging risks. Of course, farmers need to continue to be vigilant when protecting themselves against the general risks a modern farm faces as well. This includes things like:

  • Weather. Too much or too little rain can be lethal for a farm as can cold snaps coming well into the growing seasons.
  • Blight. Disease is a constant worry on farms and one that farmers need to be vigilant in guarding against.
  • Equipment breakdown. Farm equipment is costly to purchase and repair. This is especially the case with modern equipment that has proprietary technology that only specifically trained people can work repair.

For all these things and more, farming insurance can help you get back on your feet and in the field. Contact Hummel Group today to learn more about these risks and managing them.