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Drought/heat has producers considering diverting more acres

This year’s uncharacteristically harsh climate has even the best irrigated acreage looking grim. Texas corn producers are making tough management decisions in an effort to hold on to the crops they have left. Many producers are looking to divert some water resources to other fields or crops to have the best chance of making a decent yield.    

Continued record-high temperatures and the worst drought in nearly half a century has many corn producers across the Texas Panhandle deliberating irrigation and management strategies for a successful crop. This year’s uncharacteristically harsh climate has even the best irrigated acreage looking grim.

The Texas Corn Producers Board reported last month that many producers were looking to divert some of their water resources to other fields or crops to have the best chance of making a decent yield. Now, producers are again making tough management decisions in an effort to hold on to the crops they have left.

TCPB board members and staff have received multiple inquiries from producers on the proper procedures to follow when making these management decisions on corn insured for grain.

“The most important thing for producers to know is they must contact their insurance agent and have their insurance company’s adjuster evaluate the crop prior to diverting water from any acres,” TCPB Executive Director David Gibson said.

Gibson also cited USDA-Risk Management Agency’s approved Appraisal Modifications for Corn. These modifications state an adjuster can appraise corn for the following criteria to determine disposition of the crop:

  • No pollination due to drought, heat, hot winds, and/or insects.
  • Poor pollination due to drought, heat, hot winds, and/or insects.
  • Severely drought-stunted corn.
  • Permanently wilted corn.
  • Irregular germination or crop development due to insured causes.

This information, as well as a list of counties it is applicable to, is available on the TCPB website, www.TexasCorn.org.

Additionally, TCPB has other useful links for producers on its site such as the USDA-RMA frequently asked questions on crop insurance and drought-damaged crops and a letter from Texas AgriLife Agronomist Brent Bean to their insurance provider, which explains why water should be diverted from the acres because of drought conditions.

If producers have further management practice questions after meeting with their crop insurance adjuster, they should contact their Texas AgriLife county extension agent. For additional information on Texas corn production and insurance, visit www.TexasCorn.org or contact the TCPB office at 800.647.CORN (2676).

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