The February bump in bean prices helped set a projected price of $12.55/bu. for growers signed up for government crop insurance. Bruce Sherrick, University of Illinois professor of agricultural economics, says the price offers a starting point for growers looking to get more acres marketed leading into the summer and harvest.

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) soybean projected price is determined by averaging the closing November futures prices during February trading days. The corn projected price, $5.68/bu., is determined by averaging the December futures closing prices in February. March 15 was the deadline for getting signed up for revenue protection and other crop insurance.

“Crop insurance continues to be an important part of a growers overall risk management,” Sherrick says. “For example, about 80% of Illinois acres are enrolled. Having crop insurance enables growers to feel more comfortable in forward pricing a larger percentage of their crops.”

Even though the prices determine the guarantee revenue indexes for RMA revenue protection programs, they don’t reflect local basis, Sherrick says. He adds that “the soybean volatility factor is .18,” which directly influences crop insurance premiums. 

For 2011, RMA prices and volatility factors were $13.49 and 23¢ for beans and $6.01 and 29¢ for corn. Sherrick says the lower priced volatility helped keep crop insurance costs at levels comparable to 2011. For more go to