Hoosier Grain Farmers Reminded to Ensure Crop Insurance Conditions are Met
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 20, 2012) —The drought of 2012 has hit Indiana corn fields hard with all 92 counties being designated primary or contiguous disaster areas by USDA as of August 15. In addition to the lowest estimated corn yields in more than 20 years, farmers are dealing with insect and disease pressures that could further diminish the crop.Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) reminds Indiana grain famers with poor field conditions to be aware that there could be issues with grain quality when delivering their crop at harvest. These grain quality issues could affect their crop insurance coverage.
“Farmers need to take a proactive approach to reading and understanding their crop insurance policies,” said Rosalind Leeck, director of grain marketing for ICMC. “For example, farmers concerned their corn crop may have aflatoxin – due to this year’s hot, dry conditions – should contact their crop insurance agent prior to harvest to discuss their options.”
Aflatoxin levels can increase in storage, so if farmers harvest and store their crop before their agent is able to collect samples for testing, their losses may not be insurable.
Farmers cannot collect and test their own samples. They must be collected by their insurance provider or a disinterested third party and tested at an approved facility. Farmers can also make arrangements with their insurance provider to leave representative sample areas of the unharvested crop. A list of approved testing facilities can be found on the USDA Risk Management Agency website at rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/fields/il_rso/.
“Depending on the amount of aflatoxin present, the corn price may be discounted or, in rare cases, the grain will need to be destroyed,” said Leeck. “A conversation with your grain buyer to find out what measures they are planning to take in terms of testing and receiving grain this fall might also be beneficial as we move closer to harvest.”
Leeck encourages all Hoosier grain farmers to contact their crop insurance agent with any questions they have specific to their operation and crop insurance policy coverage and conditions. Individual crop insurance agents can provide producers with information specific to their own unique situation and policy coverage. Another resource for information regarding crop insurance and the drought is USDA Risk Management Agency (http://www.rma.usda.gov/).
The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interest of corn growers in the state and manage corn checkoff funds. The Council is composed of 17 voting producer directors and 10 appointed farmer, industry, and government representatives.
This communication was funded with Indiana corn checkoff dollars.