Backed by more than 200 years of experience, Achmea farm insurance is committed to reducing on-farm risks. We believe reducing risks can keep unexpected repair bills and premiums down. 2019 has been another difficult year across major broadacre cropping areas of Australia. But for those that do have crop to harvest and with harvest underway in many of these areas, Achmea encourages farmers to reduce their risks this harvest.

1. Machinery: Long hours, dry conditions and in some cases frost effect crop increases the risk of fires starting as a result of the higher dust content (dust ignition) through the machines. Keep your machines maintained, one spark in these conditions can ignite a fire in a matter of seconds. Inspect your machinery including your little farm truck that you may only use periodically. Brakes, indicators, windscreens, mirrors will ensure you and your staff remain safe and don’t cause an accident.

2. Communication: You know your farm inside out, but do your employees? They are operating some of your largest assets on your farm. Complete safety inductions and make sure you give them a “what to watch for” in your paddocks (piles of rocks, contour banks, power poles, shorter crops due to lack of rain fall), especially in the dark. Your knowledge passed onto the machine operators will help avoid the hazards and potentially reduce the risk of damage to your harvester fronts and machines.

3. Pumps and fire equipment: Ensure your pumps, firefighting equipment and vehicles are serviced and in good working order, starting on first go. Have fire tanks full of water and ready to go. Make sure your fire extinguishers are close to hand and serviced. Equipment in sound working order can save much time and reduce the severity of a blaze if equipment starts on first go.

4. Asset protection zones: Maintain and remove long grass and debris around your house, workers quarters, sheds and workshops. Firebreaks around your property are critical to slow a fire down and reduce its intensity.

  • bushfire plans: be prepared, have a plan in place for the unexpected. Include also a detailed property plan that may assist fire brigades and plan the management of a fire on your property, noting water sources their reliability and critical assets likes buildings, fences with gate locations etc.
  • check in with your neighbours: unprepared properties may present risks to neighbouring properties. Check in and see whether they need help preparing their properties, work together to construct effective fire breaks. Know how to contact them during an emergency. The devastation caused by fire can be wide-reaching and potentially cost a farm business a lot of time and money.
We encourage you to reduce your risks to you, your employees and your farm assets during this harvest by taking action with a couple of these small steps outlined above.
Now is also a good time to consider whether you are adequately insured. For an on-farm review of your insurance, contact your local Achmea Risk Specialist today.