Hail will “put the pressure back” on insurance reform


he leaves on the ground, broken vine shoots, bruised grapes… On Sunday June 19 at the end of the day in Loir-et-Cher, a violent hailstorm ravaged vines, but also fields of cereals, market gardening in more than 20 municipalities. 500 ha of vines have been affected according to the Chamber of Agriculture, including around a hundred ha where the future harvest will be reduced by 60 to 80%.

In Oisly, winegrowers Noë Rouballay and Benjamin Delobel have just suffered hail damage once again. “Last year we pruned the vines and we were able to recover half a harvest. But there I will have 90% of losses “said Noë Rouballay, facing the Minister of Agriculture Marc Fesneau who came to see the damage on June 21.

Originally from these lands of Loir-et-Cher, the minister listened at length in Oisly to winegrowers, nurserymen, market gardeners and farmers in distress since the storm which devastated their crops. “We are going to activate all the possible aid devices: agricultural disasters, TFNB relief, exemptions from social charges, partial unemployment, purchases of harvests… We are going to see if it is possible to extend the PGE, if we can pass this in the Assembly with the relative majority, each has its calamities, but I do not despair of common sense”said Marc Fesneau.

Climate insurance was widely discussed by professionals, along with the problem of the Olympic average. “We should be able to ensure the real potential of the exploitation, according to the practices of the winegrower and his objectives”proposed François Cazin, president of the Federation of wine associations 41. “The calculation should only take into account years without climatic hazards, and the insurance should also cover the marketing costs”pleaded Laure Dubreuil, president of the Independent Winegrowers of Loir-et-Cher.

The prescriptions will be ready at the beginning of September

The crop insurance reform was passed last February, but the ordinances setting the thresholds for triggering national solidarity and the levels of insurance aid have not yet been published. “We must put the pressure back on to activate the system on January 1 nextlaunched Marc Fesneau. The prescriptions will be ready at the beginning of September. The majority relative to the Assembly is not a problem here, these ordinances falling within the regulatory domain”.

There remains the thorny question of the Olympic average. “This subject will not be settled on January 1, 2023: it is a matter for the European level and the WTO with the Marrakech agreementwarned the minister. I will try to form a coalition with my European colleagues on this point, because today it is no longer a problem of distortion of competition”. On June 22, the Minister announced the launch of a flash mission (see box).

Increase performance to deal with hazards

The president of ODG Touraine, Thierry Michaud, newly appointed head of the Crinao Val de Loire, spoke on June 21 during the meeting with the Minister of the thoughts of Champagne professionals on the increase in the yield to deal with the hazards. “We can reach the target yield and even exceed it while producing quality, with the evolution of the climate. We saw it in 2018. We have safeguards, with enrichment, the alcohol level, and the tools to regulate supply: VCI, interprofessional reserve. If the yields are high, we could harvest everything and store part of the volumes to market them later”.

flash mission

“In order to assess as quickly as possible the damage suffered by the agricultural world [suite aux orages de grêles qui se succèdent]Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, launches a flash mission led by experts from the General Council for Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas (CGAAER)” announces on June 22 a press release from the Minister of Agriculture. It is stipulated that “This flash mission will take place as close as possible to the players in our agriculture, in conjunction with insurers, for a period of two weeks. It will provide the Minister with an initial documented estimate of the extent of the damage from these hail episodes. It will propose if necessary, practical elements to better adapt current and future tools to the needs of farmers, in the face of these intense climatic phenomena.

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