In my previous column, I discussed the first five steps that growers can take in calculating plant loss. As part of the evidence collection process in a case, our team will visit the site for our client where the incident occurred, take photos, review laboratory reports, and examine many pieces of information. We review the circumstantial evidence, which requires an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact. We talk to eye witnesses, and we review direct evidence, which supports the truth directly. To further help in this process, here are the next steps in calculating plant loss:
STEP 6: Call your local county agent and ask he or she to evaluate plant injury. Unless damage is readily apparent, follow up promptly by having the nearest representative of IFAS come by your field to ascertain the problem.
STEP 7: Save all remaining fertilizers and chemicals in your possession and maintain absolutely accurate spray records.
STEP 8: If plant samples are to be taken, remember to pull out the entire plant, if possible, and make sure your scientist checks root systems as well as stems, leaves, and flowers.
STEP 9: Ascertain number of plants affected by purchase records, inventory, or number of plants your available space can produce.
STEP 10: Save all reports by any agricultural inspectors relative to your husbandry practices or plant inventory, and save inventory provided by you for purchase of crop insurance.
STEP 11: Ascertain the price you would have received for each plant based upon its size in relationship to the contract you would have received or market price at the time plants would have been available for market, but for the event which rendered them unmarketable.
In next month’s column, look for the final seven steps.
column by MIKE MARTIN
BIO: Michael Martin of Martin Law Office in Lakeland specializes in agriculture and environmental legal representation. A native of Polk County, Mike attended college at Sewanee in Tennessee, before obtaining a doctorate in law from the University of Florida and has tried numerous cases nationwide since that time. Mike also serves as the director of the FFA Foundation and is the author of the novel, The Crestfallen Rose.