March 15 is the magic day if you're taking out crop insurance. It's the last day you can enroll in a crop insurance policy, but before you enroll be sure you understand how the rules work in case you have an issue later in the season and wonder if you have insurance coverage.
Doug Emery, regional marketing manager for Diversified Services, Lafayette, says that one change this year is that instead of one early planting date to trigger whether you qualify for replanting, there are three dates across Indiana.
In the past the date has typically been April 5 for corn. This year the map has been adjusted. Counties in roughly the southern third of Indiana can start April 1 and still have coverage for replant. In the center part of the state, it's still April 5, as it was before. In northern Indiana it will be April 10.
"Be sure you understand what these dates mean," Emery says. "Last year many people chose to plant before the date – then April 5 in Indiana. They still collected on crop insurance if they had a loss, which many of them did last year.
"The difference is that if you plant before the early planting date in your area, replant is no longer one of the perils that you can be paid for. If you have to replant due to poor stands you're on your own. However, it doesn't affect anything else about your policy. You're still covered for loss at the end of the year, and for a set revenue if that's the coverage you have, no matter when you choose to plant.
With many seed companies offering free seed for replant or seed at half-price, this may not be as big a deal for some people as for others. However, Emery says there is still a labor and equipment cost portion to replant. If you plant before the dates in your policy, you will be responsible for covering the costs. If you plant after the dates and still must replant, then replant coverage will kick in.