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Crop insurance: Ask before you disk

—By Kathleen M. Dutro
Public Relations Team

Crop insurance could be a big help to Indiana farmers this year – but they need to follow the correct procedures, according to Jim Rink, director of Farm/Crop/Commercial/Rural at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.

Seventy-four percent of Indiana’s corn acres and 72 percent of bean acres are insured through one of the available coverage plans, according to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency. 

On many of those acres, the full extent of loss isn’t clear yet, but farmers can still begin to take steps to make sure they qualify. 

First, Rink said, they need to notify their agent as soon as they feel a loss is present. In the meantime, they need to continue to care for the crop as usual.  

Farmers must get their insurance company’s consent before destroying the crop or putting it to an alternative use, such as chopping it for silage, Rink explained. The reason for this is that even with a very poor crop, it may be in some cases too early to accurately appraise it. Therefore, the insurance company may require that the farmer establish test strips that will be used to establish the yield. 

“It’s important to speak with your crop adjuster before destroying any crops,” Rink emphasized. 

Another possible complication this drought year is mycotoxins such as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin losses are an insurable cause of loss so long as the grain is tested by someone approved by the insurance company before being moved into storage. The reason, he explained, is that mold can worsen in storage. 

Harvest prices will be announced for corn and soybeans by Nov. 15, Rink said. The final day to submit notice of yield loss is Dec. 26; the final day for revenue loss is Dec. 17. 

To see Rink’s full presentation on crop insurance, visit IFB’s website, www.infarmbureau.org, and click on the link found on the front page. Also available at the same location is a message on the drought from IFB President Don Villwock. 

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