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Corn Planting Well Along as Final Planting Dates Approach

Rapid planting progress again was made in the week ended May 10. USDA reports the national corn crop now is 75% planted, against a five-year average of 57% and just 55% planted at this time last year. Iowa farmers boosted planting from 68% planted the prior week to 83%; the average for May 10 is 65%. Nebraska farmers bumped up plantings from 51% to 76%, well ahead of the 67% average; and South Dakota, from 51% to 76%. A year ago, soggy weather limited South Dakota plantings to only 3%; the average for the state is 44%.

Soybean planting also is ahead of average, with 31% of the national crop already in the ground versus a five-year average of 20% for this week. Iowa already is 30% planted (average, 22%); at 25%, Nebraska is two points behind average; and South Dakota is well ahead of usual, at 31%, with only 9% on average.

However, based on National Weather Service predictions, progress may be a touch slower in the week ahead. Rain is expected across the entire country, with 1.75”-2” forecast in Iowa and about an inch or more in Nebraska and South Dakota. Somewhat less is forecast for the Ohio River Valley. While the threat of prevented planting may be less than some years, there is always a chance it will occur in local areas.

With the “final” corn planting dates for crop insurance coming up (May 25 for most of Nebraska and Wyoming and May 31 in most of Iowa and South Dakota; May 31 also for silage in most of Wyoming), it is a good time to review the choices producers have if they are unable to get their crop planted by the final date.

  • Continue planting into the late planting period. In this case, coverage is reduced by 1% per day.The late planting period is typically 25 days, but can vary by crop and location – check with your agent.
  • Plant after the late planting period. As with prevented planting claims, coverage is equal to your prevented planting guarantee.
  • Plant a different crop with a later final plant date, such as soybeans.
  • File a prevented planting claim. In this case, the coverage also is 60% or more if producer elected to buy up on prevented planting coverage (seed corn, 50%). This claim must be filed no later than 72 hours after the final planting date (if not planting during the late planting period), during the late planting period if the producer decides the crop will not be planted, or the final late planting date. Calculations are applied to determine the number of acres that can be declared prevented.Acres that were prevented from being planted must total at least the lesser of 20 acres or 20% of the unit. Keep in mind other producers in the area also must be prevented from planting acreage with similar characteristics. No yield is used in calculating APH in future years.As the time frame for reporting a loss can be short, contact your agent right away.

Replant: When a crop has been planted and then is damaged, the producer typically is required to replant the same crop at least through the final planting date. Rules that apply are:

  • The crop must be appraised and released before replanting.
  • The appraised crop potential must be less than 90% of the guarantee.
  • Damage must have been due to an insurable cause of loss.
  • To receive a replant payment, the first planting must have been after the initial crop insurance planting date.
  • Replanting must be the same crop in the same physical location.
  • Acreage replanted must be at least the lesser of 20 acres or 20% of the unit.
  • The coverage cannot be Catastrophic Loss Coverage (CAT).

First crop/second crop: A producer may choose to plant a different crop after filing a prevented planting claim on the first insured crop. In that case, 35% of the indemnity on the prevented crop is paid and the premium is 35% of the original premium amount. Also note:

  • 35% is paid on prevented planting whether the second crop is insured, uninsured or planted by another producer, and
  • The second crop planted after its late plating period does not have to be insured.

The second crop can’t be planted until after the end of the late planting period for the prevented crop. If the second crop qualifies for insurance, it must be insured.  In this case, a yield equal to 60% of the approved yield for the first insured crop is used to calculate the average yield in future years.

Cover crop: A producer also may choose to plant a cover crop after filing for prevented planting. For rules regarding what is considered a cover crop and when it can be grazed or harvested, consult your agent.

This brief article is provided to help you identify your options, not to provide all regulations and procedures. Your agent will help make sure you meet all the requirements if Mother Nature frowns in your direction this year.


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