Crop Insurance Today February 2013 - (Page 23)

CASE STUDY CropInsuranceTODAY T h e Va l u e o f C r o p I n s u r a n c e Jimmy Miller Interlachen, Florida The Millers sell their blueberries, which are among the first in the nation to ripen each year, to both national and international fresh fruit markets. While they are relative newcomers to the blueberry market, they have been dealt quite the lucky hand by Mother Nature. That is, until early spring, 2012. “We never had a real loss until this year,” said Miller, who explained that their primary risk is a freeze or hail. “And the way we manage freeze is with overhead water protection,” he explains, which protects the bushes by allowing a layer of ice to form on the plants and the berries, keeping the plants warmer than the outside air. Florida, like much of the rest of the country, had a very early spring in 2012, which resulted in the bushes pushing out new growth and eventually blossoming several weeks earlier Case Studies cropinsuranceinamerica.org By Dave Ray, North Bridge Communications For centuries, blueberries were gathered from the dense forests and bogs by Northeastern U.S. Native Americans, and are one of the only fruits we consume that are native to North America. So when most of us hear about blueberry farms, we conjure up images of cool, damp climates and cold winters. Except on Jimmy Miller’s blueberry farm located in Interlachen, Florida. Miller has operated the farm, which is the oldest existing blueberry farm in the state, since 1979. Miller, along with his two daughters and son-in-law, operates the 124 acre operation using a variety of blueberry developed by the University of Florida that tolerates the summer heat and mild winters. One of the main issues for blueberry growers in Florida, Miller explains, is that they must have at least 200 hours every winter where the temperature goes below 45 degrees in order for the bushes to flower, and fruit, later that spring. Lack of enough cool days can mean very low fruit production the following year. One of the main issues for blueberry growers in Florida, Miller explains, is that they must have at least 200 hours every winter where the temperature goes below 45 degrees in order for the bushes to flower, and fruit, later that spring. CROPINSURANCE TODAY ® 23 http://www.cropinsuranceinamerica.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today February 2013

Primum Non Nocere-Redux
Common Land Unit Acreage Reporting Plan
A Challenging 2012 for NCIS & the Crop Insurance Industry
NCIS Participates in NAFB "Trade Talk"
The Value of Crop Insurance Case Study
Step 8 -- Managing Constraints
Insurable Crops: Locations & Plans

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