El Nino…Flooding. Although not entirely synonymous, the latter often follows the former. While the 1997/1998 El Nino remains the strongest event on record. The El Nino that began in April/May 2015 is shaping up to be the warmest year yet on record by huge margins. It is difficult to predict the full force of this El Nino while we are still in the center of it. We can only point to comparisons of the anomalies of this event and prior events as technology allows for greater climactic changes and temperature readings. The two other major considerations: 1) the condition of the riverbeds; 2) FSMA – strict guidelines on harvesting contaminated products. What do El Nino heavy rains mean for the Salinas Valley and Monterey’s Central Coast? Historically this region has experienced it’s greatest flooding from river overflows between January and March. The drought in recent years has caused significant build up of the riverbeds and the lengthy permit process has prevented the clearing of debris to mitigate if not reduce some of the flooding. Setting that aside, Mother Nature is still in control and there is nothing that completely predicts the flooding and possible devastation in comparison to decades past.
The facts…growers lose when their crop washes away and taking with it, the seed, the growing costs, the crops, the next planting and the valuable nutrient rich top soil. Every time a flood has been recorded in history in the Salinas Valley, the landowner typically has to absorb the costs to reconstitute or reclaim the land when they have lost the value and possibly their tenant and with it, their rents. The Ag industry loses millions every time El Nino turns it’s wrath on the Salinas Valley, Monterey Central Coast, and the Pajaro Valley. Our customers have wanted answers and better competition in the marketplace that will position them well for what’s to come. While the federal crop program is an answer for many crops, it does not provide assistance to leafy green growers, the major crop in the Salinas Valley.
The solution…after a 4 year search, I’ve successfully found a company that has agreed to modify, exclusively for the ISU Pulford Ag Advantage program, their flood policy form to incorporate, farmland including top soil/dirt, seed, crops, growing costs and loss of income. The policy is designed to include reconsititution, revitalization and reclamation costs and respond to the loss of both the landowner and the grower. We can offer coverage for up to 2 years for loss of earnings, possibly of great interest to organic growers while the farmland is recertfied. You’ve asked and we’ve listened…now we’re answering. Flood for Top Soil Erosion, don’t let it pass you by, January is here.