It's been a frustrating spring with wet weather and planting delays. The main focus is on getting your 2008 crop in the ground.
"While you can't do much about the weather, you do need to keep in mind the factors you can control. Those include the decisions you made in 2008," advises Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist.
Many farmers think they need a large yield loss to collect a crop insurance indemnity payment. However, Johnson points out that the majority of all crop policies contain a replant option, which if you qualify, provides a payment reflecting the value of 8 bushels of corn or 3 bushels of soybeans per acre.
Replanting corn or soybeans
That's around $40 per acre in 2008, since the spring base prices for both the revenue type of crop insurance products such as RA and CRC and the traditional APH crop insurance coverage reflected record high crop prices.
"If you think you might need to replant some of your 2008 corn or soybean crop, make sure you notify your crop insurance representative before replanting," says Johnson. "This is a requirement in 2008," he notes.
Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC), Revenue Assurance (RA) and Actual Production History (APH) products all include the replant option and together reflect over 90% of the crop insurance products elected by farmers for Iowa's tillable acres.
The 20-20 Minimum Area Rule
However, to collect on the replant option, your loss must be a minimum of 20 acres for units over 100 acres in size, or 20% of the insured unit.
For example, a 30 acre unit could qualify for a replant payment if more than 6 acres (30 x 20%) required replanting. Likewise a 150 acre unit or a 500 acre unit would qualify for a replant payment if only 21 acres (which is more than the 20 acre minimum) required replanting.
A unit could be a field or a farm – if you elected an optional or basic unit. An enterprise unit could also have been elected, which reflects all the corn acres or all the soybean acres grouped together in a particular county.
The decision to replant a crop that was lost due to flood, hail or other peril is an insured farmer's responsibility. "The fact that crop insurance premiums will be record large in 2008 is another reason to put your crop insurance representative to work for you," Johnson notes.