May 2, 2023
by Dennis Rudat
A milder-than-normal winter weather pattern followed by extreme temperature swings and severe field flooding in many locations across the state has increased the potential of winterkill, and waterlogged wheat stands.
If you’re one of the unfortunate producers considering cutting your losses and replacing those questionable wheat stands with corn or soybeans this spring, USDA’s Farm Service Agency reminds you to report failed acres to establish or retain FSA program eligibility.
If you have failed acres, you must report it to the FSA office and your crop insurance agent for inspection before destroying the crop.
For failed wheat acres, producers need to contact their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of damage so that an adjuster can do field appraisals to determine the potential yield ability of the crop, says Kevin Robson, farm and agribusiness sales director for Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan.
“It is then up to the producer if they choose to tear up wheat acres or take it to harvest, in which case their harvested yield would be used to determine a loss instead of the appraised yield,” he says.
Robson adds, “If they choose to tear it up, they can still insure a spring-planted row crop, as long as it is insurable in their county, and they have the coverage already applied for on their policy.”
According to USDA, producers of hand-harvested crops and certain perishables must also notify FSA of damage or loss through their county FSA office within 72 hours of the date of damage or when a loss first becomes apparent.
This notification can be provided by filing a CCC-576, email, fax or phone. If you notify the county office by any method other than by filing the CCC-576, you are still required to file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss, within the required 15 calendar days.
For losses on crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), you must file a Notice of Loss within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent. You must timely file a Notice of Loss for failed acres on all crops, including grasses.
What about spring replant decisions?
With abnormally cool soil temperatures and heavy rains this spring, some producers may be facing a replant scenario for spring-planted crops, including sugarbeets, corn and soybeans.
If so, Robson said producers should contact their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of damage to file a replant claim before replanting the field.
To meet the qualifying loss requirements, the replant acres need to at least be the lesser of 20 acres or 20% of that crop, depending on their coverage unit structure, according to Robson.
“They’ll need to file a replant claim and get approval from their insurance company to replant prior to doing so,” he adds. “The replanted crop can be insured as normal, as long as the original planted date wasn't past the specified final plant date for that county.”
With all this in mind, Robson says it pays to have a local crop insurance agent who is knowledgeable about the process.
“That’s who you’ll find, when working with one of Farm Bureau crop insurance specialists — they’re right down the road,” he says.
For additional information, producers should contact their crop insurance agent, including one of the following Farm Bureau crop insurance specialists or multi-line agents for assistance:
Farm Bureau crop insurance specialists
Ryan Fox, West,269-313-5566
Marc Erffmeyer, Southwest, 269-569-1039
Marc Reinhardt, Bay-Thumb, 989-450-4851
Nate Gust, Southeast, 517-605-1076
Brenda Szach, Northern, 989-329-7290
Matt Thelen, Central, 989-640-0570
Brent Leininger, Hillsdale, 517-437-7619
Marty Rudlaff, Berrien Springs, 269-473-4791
Duane Simpkins, Gladwin, 989-426-8131
Jack McPhail, Croswell, 616-821-0421
Rudat is the Michigan Farm Bureau news director.
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