Crop farming is risky business, what with rising production costs, volatile commodities markets and unpredictable weather. While the stakes are high, the returns at present also are high, says Mike Boehlje, a Purdue University agricultural economist.

Soaring grain prices afford farmers the unusual opportunity to spend more to ensure a good crop and still pocket a handsome profit, says Boehlje. Now that much of February is over, base prices and volatilities can be more accurately estimated, leading to fairly accurate estimates of crop insurance premium. 

The Crop Insurance section of farmdoc has online 2011 Crop Insurance Premium Calculators. Also available for download is the 2011 Crop Insurance Decision FAST Tool, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet useful in premium estimation and crop insurance evaluation.

The 2011 iFarm Crop Insurance Payment Simulatorreturns estimates of premiums, frequency of payments, average payments, net costs and risk reductions associated with alternative crop insurance products and election levels.On-demand webinarsare also available describing the new Risk Management Agency COMBO product.  One presentation entitled “Crop Insurance and Risk Managements Strategies for 2011” gives suggestions for choices of crop insurance products. All of these farmdoc Crop Insurance resources are available online.