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Understanding Initial, Delayed and Prevented Planting Decisions

April 25, 2018

The cool, wet weather conditions experienced across Iowa this spring mean some corn and soybean fields will be planted later than normal. This is a good time to revisit what options are available under multiple peril crop insurance coverage.

This and additional information can be found in the April issue of Ag Decision Maker.

Insured acres that have already been planted but need to be replanted may qualify for a special replanting insurance payment. This assumes that the acreage was planted after Iowa’s beginning planting dates (April 11 for corn and April 21 for soybean). Replant payments are based on the value of eight bushels of corn or three bushels of soybeans per acre, times their respective projected insurance prices determined in the month of February. For 2018, that is about $32 per acre for corn and $30 per acre for soybeans. To qualify for indemnity payment under the replanted or prevented planting provisions, a minimum area of 20 acres or 20 percent of the insured unit must have suffered loss, whichever is smaller.

In Iowa, the crop insurance “late planting period” begins after the final planting date of May 31 for corn and June 15 for soybeans. The new “practical to replant periods” will run from June 1-10 for corn and June 16-25 for soybeans.

“Those who hold this insurance may want to contact their crop insurance agent to make sure they understand the “practical to replant” provisions in their crop insurance policy since the ending dates have changed slightly for 2018,” said Steve Johnson, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Unplanted corn acres
Beginning June 1, producers in Iowa with unplanted corn acres have three choices:

  1. Plant corn as soon as possible with a reduced guarantee,
  2. Shift to soybeans with full insurance coverage,
  3. Apply for prevented planting. Qualified acres are insured at 55 percent of their original guarantee for corn and 60 percent for soybeans

ISU Extension and Outreach resources
More details on crop insurance can be found through the Ag Decision Maker website, specifically in publication “Delayed and Prevented Planting Provisions” (File A1-57). An electronic decision tool spreadsheet is also available to help  analyze alternative actions. Insured producers should communicate with their crop insurance agent before making decisions about replanting or abandoning acres.

Establishing a cover crop is not required on prevented planting acres, but is highly recommended. The rules set by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, which oversees the federal crop insurance program, do not require a cover crop.

“That being said, RMA encourages cover crops and you will receive a full-prevented planting payment – even if you choose not to plant a cover crop,” Johnson said. “The cover crop choices available likely include oats, wheat, barley or millet.”

If planting a cover crop and expecting to receive a crop insurance payment for prevented planting, that cover crop cannot be harvested or grazed until after Nov. 1.

Source: Iowa State University