March 16 is the deadline for Iowa farmers to buy crop insurance on most spring planted crops. For major crops, such as corn and soybeans, farmers can choose among products that insure revenue, such as Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC) or Group Risk Income Protection (GRIP). They can also choose among plans that only cover yield losses, such as the traditional Multiple-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) or the Group Risk Plan (GRP).
"Any Iowa producer who wants to be eligible for the new federal Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) in 2009 must buy one of the underlying crop insurance coverages on all acres of all insurable spring planted crops by March 16," says Jan Eliassen, a private consultant who does risk management education work for the crop insurance industry, USDA’s Risk Management Agency, and several state departments of agriculture. "SURE is the provision of the 2008 Farm Bill designed to replace ad hoc disaster assistance programs."
March 16 is also the deadline for making any changes to existing crop insurance policies.
Iowa has 13 crops which share the March 16 crop insurance deadline. They are: wheat, oats, forage seeding, corn, sweet corn, popping corn, dry beans, grain sorghum, hybrid seed corn, green peas, soybeans, potatoes, and barley.
Which crops are insurable and what kinds of policies are available vary from county to county. To make sure you are eligible for SURE contact a crop insurance agent well before the March 16 deadline.