Farmers across the Corn Belt are facing a critical choice: either take prevent plant or risk planting later in the season, when conditions are finally conducive to fieldwork. The first step farmers should do when considering prevent plant as an option is to call their insurance agent, says Bob Hartsough of Silveus Insurance Group.
“We want to sit down and really know the numbers,” he told AgriTalk host Chip Flory this week. “Know what's eligible, because not everything may be eligible for prevent plant. You'll want to know what your actual guarantees are on each unit is. So, you need to sit down with your agent to find these numbers out before you have to make the decision.”
Even considering a prevent plant claim is unwise until you’ve got all the facts in front of you, according to Hartsough. Even then, it’s a very complicated program, so he recommends asking your insurance agent to walk you through the process, so you have a better understanding.
“There's so much information that goes into this decision,” he explains. “Depending on what a guy's APHs really are at the time, he still may fall far short of even the basics of just paying his cash rent for the year, based on just what the prevent plant is going to pay him.”
Ask for your agent’s advice on which decision is right for your farm, as he or she knows all the rules and nuances of the program.
“There are some misconceptions about prevent plant,” adds Flory. “Everybody looks at the money that could potentially pay out on a per acre basis. But, how much do you already have into that piece of ground? The assumption is you’ll make money with prevent plant. But nobody makes money with prevent plant.”
If farmers are able, Flory encourages them to plant corn. “You want to put a corn crop in the ground particularly, just simply because that's where the greatest potential return is, even if it is planted late.”
Hartsough agrees. “There’s a little window of planting yet; I still think you’ll do better off planting something if the window is available to you.”
For more information about prevent plant, read the following stories: