2019 Crop Harvest Delays - What Do Farmers Need to Know About Crop Insurance?

11 Nov 2019

For most producers, the 2019 crop year has been a challenge. Excess moisture, prevent plant, and an early snow in some areas of the Midwest have many asking what they should do and how crop insurance can help with the unpredictable weather conditions. Below is a summary of what you can do as a producer and push through 2019. 

Actions a Farmer/Rancher Can Take:
As you reach the end of insurance for a crop, talk to your crop insurance agent and report a loss 
Tell your agent when weather has delayed you from harvesting 
Continue to try and harvest, weather permitting 
Document conditions and actions you take to attempt to harvest 
Apply for an extension of coverage beyond the end of the insurance period if you feel it will be necessary 
Coverage:
Crop insurance will cover the loss of quality (specified in crop provisions), reduced yields, and revenue losses if you have revenue coverage. It does not cover the cost of drying grain.

End of Insurance Period: 
Please note that if the crop is unharvested by the dates listed below, you must contact your agent to report a loss.

 Crop  Insurance Date
 Corn  December 10
 Soybeans  December 10
 Wheat  October 31
 Dry Beans  October 31
 Sugar Beets  November 15
 Sunflowers  November 30

Additional Time to Harvest: 
The Risk Management Agency’s procedures grant approved insurance providers permission to grant extensions for harvest on a case-by-case basis. So what does this mean for farmers? If extended, this provides more time for farmers to attempt to harvest their crops so claims can be settled based on harvested production numbers. This would also cover any additional damage to crops (if due to an insurable cause of loss).  High moisture of the crop is not an insurable cause of loss and additional time to harvest would not be granted, in these cases.

Requirements for Additional Time to Harvest:
Contact your crop insurance agent in a timely manner
Demonstrate harvest was not possible given weather conditions
Document the delay in harvest was due to a cause of loss (done by approved insurance provider) 
The delay in harvest is not due to the lack of manpower or failure of equipment 

Our hope is for a nice November so harvest can be completed before we reach the end of insurance.