Maximize your crop insurance benefit

November 1, 2016 09:32 AM
 

With low crop prices, communication is crucial on insurance claims

Jason Alexander, Vice President-Crop Insurance | Farm Credit Mid-America

One of the things our Farm Credit crop insurance specialists like to do is ride in the combine with customers. Not only can we bring the paperwork along and talk though what-if scenarios, we can see firsthand exactly what the crop situation is. One example is southern Indiana, where the corn on high ground looked really good even though the low ground corn was stunted by too much moisture. Time in the combine seat with our farmers gives us a chance to discuss how each field tends to perform in different types of weather and brainstorm about different crop insurance strategies.

As pockets of trouble turn up in the field, we want our farmers to call us. One farmer even sent a video from his combine showing his field issues and questions on what-if scenarios. Our team thrives on getting farmer input about how harvest is going and how crops look. Even if you’ve already completed harvest, it’s often a good idea to meet with your Farm Credit insurance specialist while field conditions are fresh in your mind.

What-if scenarios

Variability within fields may affect both short-term and long-term plans. Short term, you might need to get approval to destroy a crop as a total loss, or to harvest it as silage. In such cases, an adjuster must come out, inspect and sign off before you finish the field. Long-term planning might involve helping you decide whether you should be insuring by optional units (by farm) or enterprise units (entire crop by county). The unique yield variability within a field, from field to field or farm to farm can make a big difference in what structure works best for you.

Tobacco producers might be a good example for all farmers. Wet conditions on some tobacco fields this year may result in poor yields or poor quality. Tobacco insurance claims are a very regimented step-by-step process that starts in the field and continue into the curing barn. When in doubt, be proactive and call us. With tobacco or any crop, communication with your Farm Credit crop insurance specialist is crucial to helping make sure you have the right insurance and that your claims are submitted properly to be paid at the end of the year.

For additional financial tips, insights and perspectives, visit Farm Credit Mid-America Insights.

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