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Crop Insurance Update 2010

January 28, 2010
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Linda H. Smith, Top Producer Business and Marketing Editor
The big story is Enterprise Units (EU), says Steven Johnson, Iowa State University economist. These contracts cover all of a crop in one county. If you "farm a county”—a lot of your ground is nearby in one county—strongly consider buying EU rather than optional units. Why? Premiums are substantially lower. "It also is easier to qualify for replanting and prevented planting,” Johnson adds. One caveat: You need to have at least 20 acres or 20% of your crop in the county.
New in 2010 is coverage for specialty soybeans: It is a yield product, not revenue and you use past yield record for the APH (average production history) for each type. "Buying separate coverage means that lower yields will not drag down the APH for conventional beans,” he says. "The indemnity is based on the higher of the contract price or conventional APH insurance price.”
Make sure the names on your crop insurance policy, various entities, and tax ID numbers all match those on your farms at Farm Service Agency, Johnson urges. "If you switch partners, for example, be sure to tell your crop insurance agent.” USDA has a major initiative to standardize all records. 
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You can e-mail Linda Smith at

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