Working in insurance has been a lesson in preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. I want my farmers to find success and get the most out of their yield, regardless of what nature throws their way. Covid-19 was the impact none of us saw coming and another lesson on what it means to prepare for the worst. As the pandemic began, I quickly noticed its effects on farming within the dairy industry. Dairy farming needs to move fast due to the nature of the product, but labor shortages and low demand stopped farmers in their tracks. All of my farmers had to adjust to the pandemic, but impacts on the dairy industry came quickly and hard.

Here’s how the pandemic was able to impact the multi-billion-dollar industry:

Schools, restaurants, and hotels shut down during the pandemic, and major dairy clients no longer needed dairy products. Unlike other farmers that can freeze or store their yield, milk can only be stored in a cold silo or vat for up to 48 hours before it must be moved to the next facility to be pasteurized and homogenized. The brief shelf life and perishable nature of the product led dairy farmers to lose profits on large amounts of their yield. While other farming industries, such as meat, could not keep up with demand during the pandemic as shoppers frantically purchased large quantities to freeze for the uncertain months ahead, the short shelf life of most dairy products negatively impacted consumer demand. With fewer workers and initially lower demand, milk was spoiled and dumped.

As sales shifted from schools and restaurants to larger purchases from retailers, packaging and distribution problems arose. Demand for employment in shipping grew across the board with the pandemic, and like many industries, dairy did not have enough people to ship the amount of product they had to send to retailers. Even as demand grew for retailers, the inability to efficiently distribute the time-sensitive product resulted in more milk being dumped. Supply chain difficulties ultimately led to increased production costs.

If I have learned anything from Covid-19, it’s that you can never be too prepared. Take action to protect your assets before you even see a problem because you never know what might happen and how it will affect you.

Whether your crop could face a loss of labor or markets or impacts on yield, a crop insurance agent can help you decide what insurance is best for your needs. Don’t grow restless over what could happen. We are here to make sure you get the highest return possible and help you sleep better at night! Contact us today to see how you can protect your crops from the unforeseeable.