Some producers have made the decision to play roulette with the weather and plant corn early this year, especially in the southeastern part of North Carolina and South Carolina.
For those producers that secured crop insurance for their 2012 summer crops, the early planting dates have passed, but according to Larry Adkinson, Regional Director of USDA’s Risk Management Association, if a producer planted prior to the earliest planting date, the whole season isn’t uninsurable, just the crop that’s in the ground prior to the earliest planting date, should it be met with disaster:
“That means that they have to report that damage, an appraisal would be done, or at least an adjuster would look at that crop to determine the potential. Of course, the earlier assessments are made on a crop, the greater the potential, because there is an assumption that from that point forward you will have ideal weather conditions to the end. And that producer may be short a crop, but we won’t pay for them to go back and replant that commodity.”
As most producers know, conversely there is a last planting date on crops, for insurance to remain in force:
“There is a cutoff date for all of our crops where there is a final planting date, and the idea there is that you need to get it in so that the crop has an opportunity to mature, and it be reported to the agency, time for us to establish a liability, before it is known what the risk of loss will be on a particular commodity.”
Adknison explains that the final planting date for any given crop isn’t adjusted for weather:
“Typcialy we don’t’ adjust them for weather because they are based on agronomic history. When research shows that yields declines, every year you wouldn’t want to adjust those, because the weather varies every year, so it’s based on what our research and Extension Service recommends is a final date to plant a crop before you yield get into a steep decline in yield expectations.”
And of course, once planting is complete, Adkinson advises that producers report their acreage to the insurance company as soon as possible:
“After growers complete their harvest, they need to be sure to file their acreage report with their insurance agency, that is the first phase of making sure that they get an adequate estimate of their coverage and the liability they have on their farms. Once that is locked in then they have the security of knowing the amount of protection they have throughout the year.
That is one of the critical pieces there are ramifications for not reporting. So it’s critical they report their acres once they’re finished, because at a certain point during the year, if they haven’t reported their acreage, the insurance company is not able to go back and pick up any additional acreage. So, it’s important that they report it, and report it accurately.”
Regional Director of USDA’s Risk Management Association, Larry Adkinson