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View from the Cab: Crop insurance time

Country Financial's Doug Yoder at the recent Livingston County Agronomy Day in Pontiac.

By: Kent Casson

With the arrival of February, our thoughts turn to crop insurance.

This is the time of year when farmers make important crop insurance decisions for the coming season. Country Financial crop insurance specialist Doug Yoder presented a crop insurance update during last week’s Livingston County Farm Bureau Agronomy Day in Pontiac.

There are very few changes in 2022. This has not happened for a long time, according to Yoder. This year’s crop insurance enhancements include Post Application Coverage Endorsement, or PACE, which is not offered in every county as it is a pilot program. PACE is an initiative of several groups which took about three years to approve and provides coverage for corn growers split applying nitrogen.

“It’s that post planting part that is trying to address the risk you face,” explained Yoder.

The new risk protection is for growers unable to apply their post-planting nitrogen fertilizer within the designated time period due to inclement weather, a lack of suitable field days or other uncontrollable events.

PACE is not available on irrigated ground or high-risk acreage. If there is a claim, a grower must show how much nitrogen they applied at planting versus post applied.

“They are going to use weather analytics,” said Yoder.

Yoder reminded growers that Actual Production History, or APH, is a very important number in the crop insurance world. Anything which can be done to improve that number helps your insurance guarantees in the future. Country has noticed a big demand for buying coverage on top of a base policy for farmers. More than 80 percent of Illinois farmers use some sort of coverage on corn and soybean acres.

“The value in what you are protecting went up last year and your premium went up,” Yoder noted.

Don’t be surprised if your premium goes up again because crop values have gone up. This could lead to a bit of sticker shock for consumers. Producers need to make sure they are using the right tools with the right coverage levels when bad times hit.

“We can’t count on governmental assistance like we have seen for the last several years,” Yoder cautioned.

It is difficult to predict farm bill program payments at this point.

“Make sure you know what’s out there.”


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