Early Start to Spring, Fieldwork

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As farm operators consider early corn planting, they must consider the initial planting dates for full crop insurance coverage. For corn in southern Minnesota and Iowa, the official USDA Risk management Agency (RMA) earliest planting date is April 11. Corn planted prior to the RMA specified earliest planting date is not eligible for replant coverage, if the crop is damaged by frost, heavy rains or hail. However, the crop is still insured with full crop insurance coverage, as long as the producer follows all other crop insurance requirements. The earliest planting date for soybeans in southern Minnesota and Iowa is April 21.

Standard crop insurance replant provisions state that if a crop stand is damaged early in the growing season to a point where the projected yield is lower than 90% of the yield guarantee, the farm operator can receive an indemnity payment for part of the actual cost of replanting. The affected area must be at least 20 acres or 20% of the farm unit’s total acreage. The maximum replant indemnity payment for corn is a maximum of 8 bu./acre times the maximum price election of $5.68/bu., resulting in a maximum indemnity payment of $45.44/acre. The maximum soybean replant indemnity payment is $37.65/acre, which is 3 bu./acre times $12.55/bu.

If the warm weather pattern continues into early April, farm operators will need to weigh the potential benefits of planting corn prior to April 11 compared to the loss of potential crop insurance indemnity payments, should replanting become necessary. Before finalizing that decision, producers are encouraged to consult their crop insurance agent to find out all pertinent details regarding the replant clauses in various crop insurance policies.

 

Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.

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