Heavy rainfall, flooding in fields and cool temperatures across Iowa and other Midwest areas have slowed planting this spring. The situation is prompting some farmers to ask questions about the prevented planting provision for crop insurance policies. The final planting date for corn in Iowa is May 31. The final planting date for soybeans in Iowa is June 15. Final planting dates and other crop insurance information can be found here.
Kristen Schulte, an Iowa State University Extension farm and ag business management specialist, points out that farmers still have time before the final planting dates take effect. Prevented planting is a failure to plant an insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy's actuarial documents. Or during the late planting period, if applicable, due to an insured cause of loss that is general to the surrounding area and that prevents other producers from planting acreage with similar characteristics.
Schulte lists some of the basic guidelines if you are unable to plant because of an insurable cause of loss by the final planting date. You may:
* Plant during the 25-day late planting period. For most crops, the timely period production guarantee is reduced 1% per day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date.
* Plant after the late planting period. The insurance guarantee will be the same as the insurance guarantee provided for prevented planting coverage.
* Not plant a crop and receive a prevented planting payment.
* Plant a cover crop and receive a prevented planting payment.
* After the late planting period ends, plant the acreage to another crop (second crop) and receive a reduced prevented planting payment.
"The most important thing you can do if you are unable to plant the crop by the final planting date is contact your crop insurance agent to review your policy and your options before you make a decision," says Schulte. "You are required to provide notice that you were prevented from planting an insured crop within 72 hours after the final planting date."
Iowa State University's Ag Decision Maker Information File is available, along with a Decision Tool to aid in helping farmers make late planting and replanting decisions.