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Crop Insurance: What You Need to Know Right Now

May 25, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
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Calculate your prevent plant or other crop insurance options for your unplanted acres.

Last week was a record-breaking period for corn planting progress. As of May 19, 71% of the U.S. corn crop is in the ground, a 43-percentage-point jump from the previous week.

For soybeans, only 24% of the crop has been planted. Normally around 40% of the crop is in the ground by mid-May.

As May fades away, many farmers are running out of time to get their crops in by the crop insurance final planting date. They are now weighing the options of switching up crops or maybe just not planting a field at all.

Jamie Wasemiller, Gulke Group analyst and owner of Wasemiller Insurance Agency, says farmers should definitely calculate out the option of taking a prevent plant claim.

And, do that fast. Depending on the area, final planting dates are either May 25, May 31 or June 5 for corn. For soybeans, the dates are June 15, June 10, June 20 or June 25 all depending on your location.

Wasemiller says that with spring insurance prices of $5.65 for corn and $12.87 for beans, along with the bearish nature of futures prices moving forward, the premiums provided by prevent plant could be close to or even higher than profits from producing a crop on those acres."I do think prevent plant is a viable option this year."

For farmers with unplanted acres, covered by insurance, Wasemiller provides four options. For these examples, assume the farmer is planting corn, has an 80% crop insurance coverage level and an APH (actual production history) yield of 170 bu./acre.

Option 1: Submit a prevented planting claim.

With a spring insurance price of $5.65, that gives you an insurance guarantee of $768 per acre. ($5.65 x 170 x 80% = $768). If you take $786 time 60% to calculate your prevent plant indemnity it would come out to be $472. This may not be ideal but a farmer should be able to make that work on a portion of their acres.

Wasemiller says no other crops can be planted on these acres other than approved cover crops. And, in this instance, prevented planting acres will not affect your APH.

Option 2: Do Not submit a prevented planting claim and plant a second insurable crop.

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