Facts About Your Crop Insurance Policy

1)      Crop insurance is a continuous policy.  You do not need to apply for coverage each year.  Your policy automatically renews, unless you change/cancel in writing by the termination date for the crop insured.
2)      Crop insurance is sold by the county and crop.  Sign-up closing dates are September 30th for small grains, January 31st  for potatoes, February 15th for green peas and March 15th for all other spring crops.
3)      Each year you are required to update your average yields with the previous crop year production records.  Failure to update the yields will result in a yield penalty and units will be combined into one unit for the county. (Note:  catastrophic policies only allow for one unit).
4)      When completing the acreage report worksheet, you must report all acres of the insured crop in which you have a share, even if the acres are planted after the final planting date.  Revision of acres after the reporting date will not be allowed, unless approved in accordance with policy procedures.  Irrigated vs. non-irrigated acres must be reported by planting patterns, as to ensure productions records can be kept separate.  A physical visible break between the irrigated and non-irrigated must be determined by the acreage reporting date.  Review the precision farming/irrigation guidelines.
5)      If you harvest other than for grain (such as silage), the crop must be appraised by an adjuster to determine the yield in the event of a loss.  RP policies require grain appraisals for crop not harvested for grain.  The use of farm-stored production or farm scales must have approval by the loss adjuster, including grain monitors for verifying production for claims.
6)      You must report a notice of loss as soon as you are aware of any damage.  The crop appraisers must be able to inspect the field(s) before the crop is destroyed.  Policy provisions require a 15-day pre-harvest notice and/or a 72-hour post harvest notice.    “All causes of loss must be due to a naturally occurring event – with the exception of a loss in revenue when covered by Revenue Protection (RP) policies.”
7)      All crops have the “substitution of yields” option, which must be elected in writing by the sales closing date.  The 60% transitional (“T”) option allows you to exclude actual yields that are 60% less than the county’s “T” yield.  We use this yield in your database in order to calculate the average yield.  The premium will be based on the actual average yield, but using this option can give you a higher bushel guarantee (YA= yield adjustment).
8)        Course grain crops have a replant payment provision.  At least 20% or 20 acres must be appraised at less than 90% of the guarantee to qualify for the replant payment.  You must give notice prior to replanting.  (Replant payments are not available on small grain or CAT policy) grain crops have an automatic late planting period. If you have to plant after the final planting date, the late planted acres will be insured at a 1% reduction per day in the guarantee for up to 25 days for coarse grains and 15 days for small grains.
9)      All policies have a prevented plant provision.  You must give notice within 72 hours of the final planting date.  Most growers in the area must be experiencing the same conditions and be prevented from planting.  The 20/20 rule will apply. Prevented planting provision is 60% of guarantee, unless you elect 10 or 15% additional coverage.
10)     To meet double cropping, prevented planting acres, and first & second crop indemnity requirements, you must provide acceptable acreage and production records that show you have double cropped acreage in at least two of the last four crop years in which the first insured crop was planted or show the applicable acreage and production was double cropped in at least two of the last four crop years in which the first insured crop was grown.Example: first crop wheat, second crop soybeans, your production and acres must show wheat production to soybean production.   If you have not been double cropping within the county for at least 2 of the last 4 years, limits to multiple insurance benefits will apply.   Please review policy requirements for double cropping.
11)    The FSA must reconcile all relevant information for producers who receive crop insurance coverage.  Entity information should match FSA to identify the named insured and any others with an interest of 10% or more in the named farming operation.  If an applicant or current insured fails to furnish this information, they are denied program participation and benefits.  It is imperative that your entity information is correct and includes spousal information if you are married.  Please contact us immediately if your entity information changes.
12)    Measurement services are available and must be requested by the acreage reporting date (ARD).  www.FarmMaps.com  is our internet-based mapping program and GPS mapping is available.  The best time to request this service is during the winter months before the crop is planted.  FSA Determined Acres will override the GPS mapped acreage.  For claim purposes the loss adjuster will verify the final acres.
13)    Premiums are billed on August 15 and due October 1st. - 1 ¼% interest attaches on the first of each month until paid.  Premium Payments are now strictly tied to the postmarked date.  Example:  If your payment is postmarked October 1st , no interest will be due.  However, if the postmark is October  2nd  , interest will be due.  
14)    Maintaining records – Acreage and production evidence must be retained by you for three  or four crop years after the end of the crop year for which it is initially certified.   Claims $ 100,000.00 and higher will require a 3 year production and acres review before the indemnity is paid.   Data mining between all USDA offices is now reviewing back to 2006 crop year.   For unit division, keep records by FSN and/or practice.  For double cropping, mark weigh tickets that are double cropped. Weigh tickets can be marked as FAC (following another crop) or NFAC (not following another crop).   Bushels are calculated at dry bushels (wheat 13.5%, barley 14.5%, corn 15%, soybeans 13% etc... Green Peas using the 125 “T” reading). For additional information on record keeping, please call the office today.
 15)   Acreage emerging from CRP and/ New Breaking Ground – Crop insurance policies requires that acreage must have been planted and harvested in at least one of the three previous years unless such acreage was left unplanted  coming out of as CRP program.  Acreage coming out of CRP would be insurable.   Separate data bases/insurance units  must be set up before the sales closing date.
16)    Written agreements are available for insurable crops not listed in the county in which you farm.