Lost in all the concern and talk about moldy corn in many Indiana fields this fall is the fact that some of you may be holding crop insurance policies that would provide some payment to you, depending upon the disease that's in the field. The most important rule when dealing with potential insurance claims is to call your agent sooner rather than later!
One Indiana farmer found that out this spring. After deciding a field of wheat wasn't worth saving, he contacted his agent, who was to send an adjustor. Miscommunication resulted in the farmer destroying all the wheat after he had left representative patched, thinking the right insurance people had already seen it. The case was resolved, but it made it more difficult for all parties involved.
Danny Green of Greene Crop Consulting, Franklin, also offers federal crop insurance policies. Recently, he reminded clients that if they have an individual policy, either an RA, CRC or APH policy, they need to be checking fields. If you've dealt with crop insurance over the past few years, you likely know what these abbreviations mean. If you're not sure if you would be covered for grain quality losses caused by molds in corn, call your agent to find out.
If you suspect grain quality damage from one or more of the molds, let your agent know as soon as possible, Greene says. Then the agent's job is to let an adjustor know so they can look at fields where you suspect you have a grain quality issue.
Don't just assume that if you leave a couple rows in one part of the field, you can call the agent later. Call before you take the combine into the field, and avoid the hassle the farmer with the bad wheat stand encountered last spring. If the crop insurance option you have would provide assistance in case you're docked for grain quality, you need to be in contact with your agent immediately. Let him walk you through the steps that you must follow to make sure that the field is properly inspected and the damage correctly verified, before you combine it and destroy 'the evidence.'
Gibberella-infested fields are most likely to face heavy dockage, since this mold produces toxins that affect animals, making it unfit as animal feed. However, unless you're an expert at identifying one disease from another, your best option would be to likely let an adjustor see the field anyway.