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Upcoming Webinar on Employee Safety and New CE Crop Insurance

Wed, Feb 14th, 2024, created by Heidi Linberg

The Floriculture Team at Michigan State University Extension will be offering a virtual Greenhouse Risk Management Webinar for greenhouse and nursery growers. The meeting will cover ways to reduce risk to your business by insuring your crop against destruction orders and provide safety tips for your employees. The Zoom webinar will be from 10 a.m. 12 p.m. ET on February 19, 2024. 

Register now.

The program highlights the long-awaited pilot program for controlled environment (CE) crop insurance from the USDA Risk Management Agency. This pilot program has been twenty years in the making. Some greenhouse growers remember the outbreak of Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 (a highly-regulated bacterial pathogen) that occurred in the early 2000s. In the case of a highly regulated pathogen, the United States Department of Agriculture Plant Healthcan issue destruction orders of your crop. It caused significant financial losses for greenhouse businesses twenty years ago. The event triggered the formation of the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council (MGGC) to seek to develop indemnity insurance for greenhouse growers. MGGC has been working along with other associations representing other green industries to get this program developed for growers. While the program will continue to need to be refined, it comes as long-awaited step toward the future.

The webinar will also provide tips for employees working in the greenhouse industry. Greenhouse work can involve dangerous tasks including: climbing on roofs to replace greenhouse plastic, hanging baskets overhead, lifting heavy objects, repetitive movements, bending, and wet floors. Ed Parsons with MSU Occupational Health will cover the most common injuries in greenhouse and nursery work and what to do to prevent injuries. 

Agenda of Webinar

10-11 a.m. ET:
 Controlled Environment Managing Destruction Order Risk with USDA Crop Insurance, Phillip Preston and Brandon Walters, GreenStone Farm Credit Services

For the first time, the Risk Management Agency of the USDA is offering Controlled Environment (CE) crop insurance program which offers insurance for destruction orders for plant diseases and contamination introduced from the environment even though all biosecurity protocols were followed. Phillip Preston and Brandon Walters from Greenstone Farm Credit Services will explain the new pilot program, determine if you qualify to participate, and describe barriers to coverage. While the deadline for the 2024 crop year was Dec. 1, 2023, the insurance can still be secured and the amount will be pro-rated for the coming spring season. 

11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET: Safety First: Preventing on-the-job Injuries and Deaths to Greenhouse and Nursery Workers, Ed Parsons, MSU Occupational Health

Agriculture is one of the five most dangerous industries in Michigan to work in. However, everyone deserves to come home safely from work. This presentation will focus on greenhouse and nursery workers. Highlighting the most common types of on-the-job injuries, the job hazards that lead to injuries, and what to do to prevent injuries.


About the Author:

Heidi Linberg

Greenhouse Extension Educator, Michigan State University

Heidi Lindberg is a greenhouse and nursery extension educator based in West Olive, Michigan. She serves growers in western Michigan, especially the dense number of growers in Ottawa, Kent, and Muskegon counties. She provides research-based educational programming and diagnostic support for greenhouse growers in southwest Michigan.

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