31 May 1996

Spud farms go for brown rot policy

SEVENTY-FIVE potato growers have insured themselves against brown rot this season with the new scheme introduced by broker Bain Hogg (see Arable Apr 5).

Account executive Michael Cox reports underwriters are pleased with the uptake. "But we had hoped for a lot more," he says. The 8000 letters sent to registered producers generated about 2000 enquiries. But by Apr 30, when the scheme closed, only about 1720ha (4250 acres) had been insured.

Size of the crops covered ranges from 2 to 142ha (5 to 350 acres). Most growers opted for potential compensation levels of about £4950/ha (£2000/acre) over three years, says Mr Cox.