BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The 2019 crop year has been a challenge for farmers in the Midwest no matter how you look at it, but farmers still have options when it comes to crop insurance and prevented planting options.
Talking to a trusted crop insurance agent can ease some stress that farmers might be feeling. Agents can gather information and then explain the options that are available to each farmer.
“We can tell them, on any given day, what their guarantee is and as that guarantee starts to erode, 1% a day after their final plant date, our agents can calculate those numbers so they have the numbers. We can tell them the crop insurance numbers and what the guarantee is per acre,” said Doug Yoder, crop agency manager for Country Financial.
Even with the second round of Market Facilitation Program payments and rates still a big question mark, crop insurance remains a known factor and crop insurance agents can provide farmers with some certainty.
“Obviously, no one can tell them their MFP payment or their possible disaster payment, so those things are still up in the air. But we can walk them through what they have, coverage-wise, for crop insurance. We can at least answer those questions,” Yoder said.
Yoder stressed that, even with final planting dates in the rearview mirror, planting is the first, best option if possible.
“They know their land better than anybody, their soil types, which locations the have a good shot at producing a crop this late. They know that better than anyone. In my opinion, their best bet, if they can, hopefully, plant a crop, and have good expectations, they need to do so,” he said.
Yoder said the prevent plant option on crop insurance is part of the safety net structure.
“These prevented planting payments are not designed to make farmers a profit. They are designed to partially offset some of their expenses they have invested in ground where they can’t then plant. It’s a partial recoupment of those expenses. It is not their No. 1 option, and typically, it will not make them money,” he said.
Even with the clock ticking past the final planting date, planting still would be the best option where it’s possible, Yoder said.
“Losing 1% a day is still, in my opinion, at least early on from the final planting date, is still much better. Your prevent plant guarantee is only 55% for corn. If I start off with 100% of my guarantee and I lose 1%, I’m at 97, 98, 99. Obviously, that’s still much better than 55. At least for the first part of that late planting period, even though they are losing 1% a day, that is still much better than the 55% guarantee,” Yoder said.