CropWatch March 5, 2010: Crop Insurance Deadline March 15; Evaluate New Factors

CropWatch March 5, 2010: Crop Insurance Deadline March 15; Evaluate New Factors

March 5, 2010

This year the March 15 deadline for buying crop insurance for spring planted crops has added meaning for many of Nebraska’s producers. If you haven’t already scheduled a visit with your crop insurance professional, time is running short to discuss and evaluate some important new options.

Crop Insurance Required for SURE

Beginning this year the USDA Farm Service agency will require crop insurance on all crops to be eligible for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. This permanent disaster program is intended to kick in above the typical crop insurance and requires that the crop insurance coverage be in place to be eligible.

For producers of corn, soybeans, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugarbeets, dry beans, alfalfa hay, proso millet, and other insurable crops, the deadline for sign-up is March 15. In addition, producers will need to sign up for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for those crops that are not insurable under the current insurance program. In 2009, producers were allowed to wait until late summer to buy crop insurance back on the crops to meet the requirements of SURE since the rules were not written prior to the March deadline. That option will not exist in 2010.

Table 1 shows the crop prices for the major crops in Nebraska that are eligible for either multi-peril or revenue crop insurance products. Many of the crops have attractive prices for both types of insurance, and revenue products for those crops where they are available are worth considering for the 2010 crop year. Many Nebraska winter wheat producers with revenue insurance coverage received indemnity checks for the 2009 crop with average or better yields. That may be possible with crops such as sunflower in 2010 if oilseed prices drop significantly by harvest.

Crop Insurance Changes

A number of new or revised provisions in crop insurance should be carefully considered this spring before making buying coverage.

  • Enterprise units may offer a premium discount if the practice makes sense for the farm operation.
  • A technology discount may be available for producers planting triple stack corn hybrids. The insurance discount does not pay enough to change to the triple stack, but if the plan is already in place to plant these hybrids, farmers should take advantage of the crop insurance discount.
  • For sugarbeet producers there are a couple of opportunities to look at in terms of early season programs.

Paul Burgener
Extension Agricultural Economics Research Analyst

Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff


Table 1. Nebraska crop prices, initial planting dates, and final planting dates for the most common crops across the state for the 2010 production year.

2010 Price
Initial Planting Date
Final Planting Date
April 10-15
May 25
  Revenue Assurance
  Crop Revenue               Coverage
April 20
June 15
  Revenue Assurance
  Crop Revenue Coverage
June 25
April 15-May 20
April 1
May 20
Grain Sorghum
May 6
June 5 or June 15
  Crop Revenue Coverage
May 1
June 15
  Revenue Assurance
  Revenue Assurance
April 30
Spring Wheat
March 16
April 25 - May 5
Dry Beans
May 1 - May 12
June 20
  Great Northern
  Yellow $40.00/cwt
  Black $32.00/cwt

  Light Red Kidney