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Replant provisions & early planting

STEVE JOHNSON 04/06/2012 @ 8:21am Farm Management Specialist with ISU Extension housed in Polk County, Iowa. Areas of expertise include crop marketing, grain contracts, government farm programs, crop insurance, farmland leasing and other crop risk management strategies. Reach Steve by e-mail at sdjohns@iastate.edu.

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has some specific rules about early planted crops with regard to multi-peril crop insurance coverage.  For each county and crop, RMA has set an “early planting date” for farm-level products such as Revenue Protection and Yield Protection. The earliest planting dates allowed for counties in the state of Iowa are April 11 for corn and April 21 for soybeans.  Dates will vary in other states and sometimes counties.

Replant Payment

Acres planted before these dates are no longer eligible for replant coverage payments should it be necessary to replant.  The maximum replant payments each year are equal to 8 bushels of corn and 3 bushels of soybeans. Multiply these bushels times the RMA projected price for that year, which is the February average futures price for December corn and November soybeans used to establish the value of the insurance guarantees that the producer  purchases.  For 2012 the projected prices are $5.68 per bushel for corn and $12.55 per bushel for soybeans, so the maximum replant payments are $45.44 or $37.65 per acre, respectively.

Any acres that are planted before the early planting dates lose replant coverage, even if the entire farm or insurance unit has not been planted.  However, early planting does not affect a farm’s actual production history (APH).

yield or revenue insurance guarantee, as long as all other good management practices are followed throughout the growing season.  Once the crop is planted, that revenue guarantee is still in effect, and any indemnity payments will depend on the final harvested yield and the harvest price.

Balancing Risk vs. Reward of Early Planting

Are you willing to take the risk of planting early and possibly having damage occur? The reward could be an early plant emergence ahead of weed competition, improved yields because of early corn pollination or perhaps a higher cash price for delivering bushels in early September.

But what if a frost hits in mid-May and damages the plant stand and potential yield? If the corn was planted prior to April 11 or soybeans before April 21, the crop insurance would no longer provide a replant payment on those acres.

What if the reason you have to replant isn’t necessarily freeze or frost related? For example, what if corn acres planted before April 11 are flooded or hailed out in mid-May; do you still have to replant?

Your crop insurance agent should be notified within 72 hours of discovery of the loss. Following the likely visit by a crop insurance adjuster, loss will be estimated including a plant stand and determination of maturity and yield potential of existing plants.  

Keep in mind all acres that were planted early still have full crop insurance coverage for yield, or the revenue guarantee. The replant coverage is what you give up when you plant before the early planting date.

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