Producers can keep crop insurance costs and risk under control with these recommendations from the experts.
1. Research what various coverages might look like for your farm. You can do this using RMA’s online Crop Insurance Decision Tool at rma.usda.gov. RMA also has an interactive Price Discovery tool. Then compare notes with your agent.
2. Think about mixing and matching coverage. You can buy additional products that will increase your coverage while keeping your costs the same. The subsidized percentage of your policy falls as your percentage of coverage rises.
3. Consider adding trend-adjusted actual production history (APH) to your underlying policy, particularly if you feel your 10-year APH is woefully out of date with actual recent yields. This could add as much as 5% to your average yield.
4. Explore adding yield exclusion to your underlying policy. It allows you to drop your worst production year, boosting APH. That incremental increase might allow you to trim your coverage level while retaining a similar level of risk protection.
5. Determine whether the Supplemental Coverage Option makes sense based on your operation’s financial needs. This option is available to those who elected PLC and have certain crop insurance policies, like revenue protection.
Crop Insurance Deadlines in 2016
Note these dates as you finalize crop insurance decisions.
Jan. 31: Deadline to purchase whole-farm revenue protection in some counties. Other counties close on Feb. 28 or March 15.
March 15: Deadline to purchase crop insurance for many crops in key Corn Belt states.
Aug. 1: Last day to enroll in ARC/PLC for 2016 crop year.