Fruit flies are one of the world’s most destructive horticultural pests and pose risks to most commercial fruit and vegetable crops. This has major implications for the sustainable production and market access of Australia’s multi-billion-dollar horticultural industry. Worldwide there are over 4,000 species of fruit flies in the family Tephritidae of which around 350 species are of economic importance.
In Africa, 1,145 natural disasters including droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, storms, wildfire, earthquakes (including tsunamis), mass movements, volcanic activity and land- slides occurred during 1995 and 2015 with 308 million people affected and damages of US$ 17 billion. The most frequent type of disaster was floods (64%) followed by storms (14%) and droughts (13%). However, droughts accounted for 80% of the affected people. The total damage was US$ 17 billion.
Different parts of the world face different weather-driven perils, and one way to classify them is by their geographic extent. Localised events, such as hail, vary in frequency and severity from year to year, but a single event affects only a restricted area. Perils which affect very large geographic regions simultaneously are what we call “systemic risks” or “cat events” and can cause large losses, sometimes even spanning multiple countries. Here we examine one such catastrophic peril: winterkill.
It is widely acknowledged that unmitigated risks provide a disincentive for otherwise optimal investments in modern farm inputs. Index insurance provides a means for managing risk without the burdens of asymmetric information and high transaction costs that plague traditional indemnity-based crop insurance programs.
In the second and third ten-day periods of April, and in some cases even over the first ten days of May 2017, western, central, southern and eastern Europe experienced a series of frosty nights, with catastrophic consequences in many places for fruit growing and viticulture. The worst-affected countries were Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. Losses were so high because vegetation was already well advanced following an exceptionally warm spell of weather in March that continued into the early part of April.
Humans and animals are all surrounded by microorganisms, some of which, called pathogens, can produce infectious illness and disease. Some pathogens affect both humans and animals, while others affect only animals or only certain species of animals. This newsletter looks at a disease that infects several types of farm animals and causes significant losses, both within and beyond the agricultural sector: foot and mouth disease (FMD).
This Congressional Budget Office report describes the structure of the crop insurance program, focusing on factors that influence its cost; discusses the government’s role in providing crop insurance; assesses how the program benefits various groups; and examines several policy options that would decrease spending on the program over the 2018–2027 period.
Hardening is the bio-physiological process whereby winter cereals become tolerant of low temperatures, which allows them to withstand the freezing conditions that occur during their winter dormancy period. Our model simulations indicate no or weak frost tolerance in most of the EU, except for some parts of Finland, Sweden and the Baltic States, as well as in a few spots in southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and eastern Poland, where the winter crops are in a partial or advanced hardening state.
Weather conditions for field operations have predominantly been favourable in most of France and the main cropping regions of the United Kingdom, but challenging in many other parts of Europe. In northern Germany, northern Poland and Lithuania, the abundant rain continued and delayed field operations. Rapeseed is worst affected, as its optimal sowing window has finished and a reduction in the planted area is expected.
Agricultural insurance has evolved considerably since the 1990s, away from costly and publicly provided MPCI programs towards insurance tied to named perils and index-based products. The private sector has also expanded its role, but in less-developed countries mostly through public-private partnerships that combine the efficiency of the private sector in delivering insurance with targeted financing by the state.
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