Indiana farmers and Farm Bureau are fighting back against copper wire theft from on-farm center pivot irrigation systems, an ever increasing problem. Alarm systems being installed with perks from Farm Bureau Insurance are proving to be successful deterrents.
In Jasper County the sheriff’s department is active in the program, and Sheriff Terry Risner says it’s working.
“In 2010 we had one reported theft of copper wiring off an irrigation unit. That increased in 2011 to 18 thefts. Then we found out about the alarm system as well and started posting that information on our news site on our web location for the sheriff’s office. Some of the farmers started employing these systems and in 2012 we’ve had one theft and one attempted theft. On the attempted theft we’re actively pursuing the subjects we know were involved and are probably going to have charges.
Jasper County farmer Mark Kingma employs the alarms on his irrigators.
“Actually it’s really tough to detect,” he said while describing the system. “There’s one small box is all you’ll see on it, but if the ground wire is cut the battery powered alarm will call up to half a dozen phone numbers. It will call those immediately and tell them that there’s been a service interruption on our irrigator, and generally that means a wire has been cut.”
Jim Rink at Farm Bureau Insurance says the company is helping fight the wire theft and resulting losses with a special program for Farm Bureau customers, a program begun about a year ago in Posey County.
[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Irrigation-alarms.mp3|titles=Irrigation alarms]”We actually install one pivot theft security system on their irrigation system. If the farmer installs theft deterrent systems on all of their irrigation systems we provide them with a warning sign and we’ll offer them a 5% premium discount on their farm insurance policy.”
The program is also available in Lake and Gibson Counties by contacting your Farm Bureau Insurance representative.
Hear the full HAT interviews with Risner and Rink[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Jasper-Co-Sherriff-Risner-and-Jim-Rink.mp3|titles=Jasper Co Sherriff Risner and Jim Rink] and Kingma:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Mark-Kingma-June-FB-event.mp3|titles=Mark Kingma June FB event]