Record number of claims possible this year, says COUNTRY's crop agency manager.
USDA says 39 million acres remain unplanted nationwide as of the beginning of this week. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)
By Deana Stroisch
Grain marketing contracts, commodity price ratios and possible federal trade mitigation payments were among nearly a dozen factors COUNTRY Financial representatives suggested farmers consider before filing a prevented plant claim.
During a webinar organized by Illinois Farm Bureau and COUNTRY, Doug Yoder, COUNTRY’s crop agency manager, said farmers face a “critical juncture.” Nationwide, USDA reports indicated 39 million acres remained unplanted as of May 26, he said.
“We’re possibly headed for record number of prevented plant claims and possibly looking at a record number of acres left fallow or idle this year,” Yoder said. “If that happens in mass, that means a large impact, not just to our farming operations but to the agri-industry in general.”
Yoder was joined by Martin McDonald, COUNTRY’s senior crop office and field claims adjuster, who explained the prevented planting process and options for farmers. Adam Nielsen, director of national legislation and policy development, explained this year’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and disaster assistance bill pending in Congress.
Before deciding to file a prevented plant claim, Yoder said farmers should also consider:
- Input expenses already incurred.
- Input expenses expected if you switch to a second crop or cover crop.
- Additional management to plant a cover crop.
- Whether you remain eligible for an Enterprise Unit if part of it is prevented plant.
- Supplemental coverage option and other buy-up options.
- MFP payments. USDA will provide $14.5 billion worth of direct payments to farmers growing various commodities, including corn, soybeans and wheat. Payments will be based on a single county rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings in aggregate – regardless of the crop planted. Total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. The county rate, which will be announced sometime after the July 15 acreage-reporting deadline, will be based on trade damage and historic county plantings, Yoder said. Prevented plant acres left fallow will not be eligible for MFP payments, Yoder said.
“We know how dire this situation is for our customers and Farm Bureau members,” Yoder said. “We are committed to doing anything and everything we can to help our customers through this.”
IFB members can watch the webinar by visiting www.myifb.org.
Related: 10 facts about prevented planting farmers should know before filing a claim. Read more here.