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Call Your Crop Insurance Agent Before You Make a Move

Policies vary and language incredibly complicated.

Can you collect for flooded crops now? How much do you get under crop insurance if you can’t plant at all, and prevented planting is invoked? Are you better off to leave what you off and expect a pay off in the end of the season when yields are low?

Perhaps one insurance adjustor put it best when he said “It’s complicated, and it depends.” George Patrick, Purdue University ag economist show has checked on crop insurance considerations for those with flooding or land they just haven’t been able to plant due to wet weather, has discovered some of th complications. The best starting point would seem to be a visit with your crop insurance agent. He can go over how your type of policy and the level of coverage you have plays out given the damage you’ve incurred on your land.

If you’ve still got planting to do because the weather has kept you out all spring, Patrick believes you have three options, assuming you have crop insurance. First, you could plant it, even though the yield will likely be reduced. Second, you could plant an alternative crop. Shifting from corn to soybeans qualifies as shifting to an alternative crop. Or you can abandon the acreage altogether and take prevented planting payments.

There are set dates that determine when you can declare prevented planting. Other dates specify how much reduction in coverage you can expect depending upon how much planting is delayed. There is no cut and dried answer.

If you planted on time but have since suffered flood damage, Patrick outlines four options. First, lave the damaged crop as it is. Considering that Purdue tables indicates as much as 80% of yield potential remains for a thin stand vs. replanting this late, that might b a wise option. Or you can replant part or all of the damaged area to the same crop.

Third, you could replant part or all of the damaged area to a different crop. Finally, you could abandon it and plant a cover crop instead.

Don’t expect an automatic payment at the end of the season if you have a field with flooded-out spots, but with good stands elsewhere. Patrick explains it with this example: A producer with an APH of 160 bushels per acre insured at 75%, giving him a yield guarantee of 120 bushels per acre. Say one-fourth of the field was wiped out with zero yield. If the remaining 120 acres is more normal and yields 160 bushels per acre, then his overall field, or unit, average is 120 bushels per acre.

Since that’s the guaranteed amount he wouldn’t collect nay insurance on the field. Likewise, someone who gets paid coverage only if the county average yield is below a trigger yield might suffer major losses on some fields, but still not receive payment, depending upon how the entire unit performed.
Want a simple answer- Go see your crop insurance agent!

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