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Crop Insurance Crunch Time is Here

For most Midwesterners, time is running out for crop insurance sign up. The March 15 deadline is only days away. Even if you didn’t change coverage from last year, it’s worth meeting with your Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) crop insurance officer to review the checklist to be sure your paperwork is in order.

A simple thing like changes in your operation can be almost as dramatic an impact as a weather event. For instance, have you compared this year’s and last year’s records concerning:

  • Number of acres you are planting. A new land lease, purchase or sale, newly plowed ground or land coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program may change your farmed ground. USDA’s Risk Management Agency has simplified the rules for adding acreage.
  • What crops will you plant? Remember that you can get different coverage for organic or food grade crops.
  • Have you changed ownership structure or added or lost members of your business?

Some producers are looking at changing coverage levels with an eye to cost savings. But be sure you understand the impact on your coverage, how that affects your marketing plan and possible impacts on your cash-flow and balance sheet.

“With the current tight margins, there is an increased emphasis on leveraging your coverage options and plans to maximize your APH levels,” says Tony Jesina, FCSAmerica vice president – related services. “Our insurance team will double-check your status regarding trend adjustment, yield exclusion and other yield strategies. It also may be a year to look at private insurance offerings for additional coverage at an attractive price.”

Jesina added, “The current financial environment is causing producers to review both their coverage levels as well as their balance sheet debt structure. Our customers are experiencing the benefit of working with an agent who understands both.”

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FCSAmerica serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. For inquiries outside this geography, use the Farm Credit Association Locator  to contact your local office.