In the final installment of your guide to calculating plant loss, I’d like to remind growers that this is just one element of the detailed process of collecting evidence and information for a case. If you have any questions about this process, I’m at your disposal. (See part one or part two.)
STEP 12: Notify your CPA or anyone else responsible for ascertaining the inventory of your plants to segregate the injured plants so they may be compared to any unaffected plants of yours, or unaffected plants of someone else.
STEP 13: If your crop is insured, notify your agent immediately. If you believe there may be a problem with chemical, fertilizer, soil, or liners, notify the producer of them immediately.
STEP 14: Ascertain whether or not you have changed your growing practices. If you haven’t, this increases the likelihood of some outside event causing plant injury.
STEP 15: Be forewarned that your husbandry practices will be claimed by your opponents as the cause.
STEP 16: In summary, have your field or nursery visited immediately by anyone who has the scientific, financial, or legal expertise to aid you with the problem. The investigation of plant injury and the ascertainment of the value of the plants injured is no different from any other investigation. The sooner knowledgeable persons show up, the better chance you have to have the problem solved.
STEP 17: As always, keep in mind the standard plant loss formula, which is: The value of the plants to be raised, less salvage, and less any costs you would have incurred in their growing and marketing, but did not as a result of the injury.
STEP 18: Calculations based on destruction of citrus trees or plants which have continuing value must be projected into the future. You will need help from a professional.
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.