Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Farmers May Want To Ask Crop Insurance Company for More Time

insurance company

Iowa and other Corn Belt states are experiencing one of the latest and slowest harvest seasons on record. Some farmers have had concerns about whether their crop insurance coverage will still be in effect if harvesting drags into December. "This fall's delayed harvest is also raising several other questions related to crop insurance," notes William Edwards, Iowa State University Extension farm economist.

The standard policy for corn and soybeans in the Midwest states that Dec. 10 is the end of the insurance period for the 2009 crop. However, farmers may request their insurance company to allow them additional time to complete harvesting.

If insured acres aren't harvested by Dec. 1, call your agent

"This can be granted when timely notice is given to the agent and the delay is due to an insured cause, such as wet weather or snowfall," says Edwards. "This will allow any claims to be settled based on actual harvested production rather than an appraisal in the field."

Generally, if insured acres are still not harvested by early December, farmers should contact their crop insurance agents and request additional harvesttime beyond Dec. 10. Farmers are required to make an honest effort to harvest the crop during the extended period if conditions allow, or to document why they were unable to do so with a written record and even photos.

The USDA Risk Management Agency, which regulates multiple peril crop insurance policies, recently issued a program announcement regarding wet harvest conditions. It is on the RMA Web site at Look there to find a checklist and explanations to assist farmers impacted by crop losses due to this fall's adverse weather.

The standard crop insurance policies cover quality losses due to low test weight, foreign material and mold, as well as low yields and prices. However, increased drying costs and charges are not covered.