Important Crop Insurance Dates
Even the best crop insurance plan is of little use if the right information is not collected and submitted on time. Likewise, if certain actions are not completed by the necessary date, producers may not receive full benefit from the risk protection that they have selected. The following important dates need to be noted and observed.
Sales closing date. This is the last date to apply for crop insurance coverage for any of the various Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) policies, or make changes in coverage from the previous year. Growers need to decide by this date on the type of policy and the level of protection they want. The sales closing date varies by crop and by state. Private crop hail insurance policies can often be purchased throughout the growing season, however.
Earliest planting date. Crops planted before the specified earliest planting date will not be eligible for replanting payments.
Final planting date. Acres planted on or before this date receive the full yield or revenue guarantee that was selected. Acres planted after this date receive a reduced guarantee. Acres not yet planted as of this date should be reported to the insurance agent within three days. The insurance provider may determine that it is practical to replant a damaged crop. This will generally be true for up to ten days after the RMA final planting date for that crop.
Late planting period. For certain crops a late planting period begins after the final planting date and lasts for 25 days. For acres planted after the beginning of this period, the value of the yield or revenue guarantee is reduced day by day. This reflects the lower yield potential for late-planted crops.
After the late planting period ends, coverage remains at 55% of the original guarantee for corn and 60% of the original guarantee for soybeans. This is true even if the producer is prevented from planting the crop, as long as a substitute crop is not planted for harvest. Prevented planting coverage does not apply to Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) or catastrophic level coverage (CAT) policies.
Acreage reporting date. Producers must report the number of acres of each insured crop that they have actually planted by this date, or within three days of when they abandon their intentions to plant it. For crops planted after the final planting date, the number of acres planted on each day must be reported. All acres of an insurable crop in which they have an interest must be reported, whether the acres are actually insured or not. Other information to report includes the producer’s share in the crop, cropping practice and type where applicable, the planting dates (if after the final planting date), and any acres that they were unable to plant.
Billing date. Although premiums are payable as soon as the crop is planted, the policyholder will not be billed until the premium billing date. Generally, this date falls near harvest. Interest charges begin to accrue 30 days after this date on any premium payments not yet paid, at the rate of 1.25% per month. If an indemnity payment or replanting payment is made, any premiums still owed will be deducted from these payments.
End of insurance period. Following this date, the farmer no longer has any production or revenue guarantee on the crop. This date is the earliest of the following: date the crop is harvested, abandoned, or destroyed; date the final adjustment on losses is made; or a specified calendar date for each crop (see table).
Date to file notice of crop damage. This is the last date to report actual production or quality losses in order to receive an indemnity payment. Notice is required within 72 hours of the discovery of the damage, but not later than 15 days after the end of the insurance period.
Policy termination date. If premiums are not paid by this date the insurance coverage for the following crop year will be terminated.
Cancellation date. This is the last date to give written notice to the insurance company if the grower doesn’t wish to carry crop insurance next year. Otherwise, the policy will automatically renew for another year.
Production reporting date. This is the date to submit the most recent crop production records used to recalculate the actual production history (APH) yield. The production reporting date is usually 45 days after the policy cancellation date. If the acreage reporting date (for the following year) is earlier than this, then that is also the last production reporting date.
The table below shows the corresponding dates for corn and soybeans in Iowa. In some years the actual date may be the first business day after the listed date if the listed date falls on a weekend or holiday. Dates may vary for other crops and states. Producers should make a list of the important dates that apply to their insured crops and mark their calendar. This will allow them to enjoy the full level of risk protection available to them.
Steven D. Johnson, farm and ag business management specialist, 515-957-5790, email@example.com, retired economist.