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View from the Cab: Choices, choices

By Kent Casson

Not only is it tax season and time to crunch the numbers, but it’s also time for farmers to research their options for crop insurance as several important deadlines loom.

I joined several other farmers to learn the latest in crop insurance changes for 2024 during an informational meeting hosted by Graymont Cooperative at the Graymont Town Hall the other day. It was great seeing so many familiar faces and Donna’s homemade Texas sheet cake was amazing! Trust me, I didn’t just go for the food.

March 15 is the sales closing date and deadline to make changes such as transferring to another company, removing Enterprise Unit structure or adding and removing the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) or Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO).

Don’t get those planters out too early this spring. There are dates to keep in mind which are the earliest planting dates to qualify for replant payments in Illinois. For corn in Livingston, McLean and Woodford counties, the date is April 5. LaSalle County is April 10. Soybeans in these counties is April 10 with LaSalle County being April 15.

The final plant date for corn in Livingston, McLean, Woodford and LaSalle County is June 5 and June 20 for soybeans in Livingston, McLean and Woodford with June 15 the final plant date for LaSalle County beans.

A late planting period is described as an extra amount of time following the final plant date for planting the initial crop. This late planting period for corn is 20 days but 25 days for soybeans. The guarantee is reduced one percent per day until the initial crop is planted.

Other dates growers should keep in mind down the road include the acreage reporting deadline with USDA of July 15, the premium billing date of August 15 and the end of insurance Dec. 10.

If you haven’t already, be sure you make an appointment to see your local insurance representative before that important mid-March deadline to decide on your coverage levels.

Though I wrote about sunny skies in the forecast in last week’s article, I am kind of disappointed all of this foggy weather is sticking around. The temperatures aren’t bad but it’s not fun to drive in. A few farmers I talked to this week said they are having a hard time getting motivated to do anything outside when it is so gloomy and damp.

I did notice a few shed doors open out in the countryside the other day as preparations begin for the 2024 planting season.


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