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Early planting & replant payback

If you plant corn this early and it gets frozen or falls victim to another weather-related disaster, chances are your crop insurance won't pay for you to replant the crop. But, with most products, you'll still be covered for issues later on in the season if you follow "good management practices."

The earliest planting dates allowed for crop insurance replant guarantees vary by county; in Illinois, for example, the earliest you can plant corn in all but the southernmost counties is April 6 (farmers in southern counties of Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union can plant April 1). Farmers in the northern 1/3 of the state can plant soybeans April 16, while the earliest planting date in the southern 2/3 of the state is April 21, according to University of Illinois Extension ag economist Gary Schnitkey.

"Acres planted before the earliest planting date are not eligible for replant payments if those acres need to be replanted," Schnitkey says. "These acres will still receive full coverage for yield or revenue losses if good management practices are followed."

Specific to different crop insurance products, Schnitkey says the Yield Protection, Revenue Protection with harvest price exclusion, and Revenue Protection plans all have "earliest planting date" provisions.

If you have issues later on in the year that rob you of yield or revenue after having followed good management practices, though, you'll be covered. "For example, take RP with an 80% coverage level having an 170 bushel Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History (TA-APH) yield," Schnitkey says. "With this year’s $5.68 projected price, the minimum guarantee is $772 (170 bushel TA-APH yield x $5.68 projected price x .80 coverage level). The $772 per acre guarantee is in effect whether acres are planted before or after the earliest planting date."

So, what kind of insurance payment will you miss out on if you do plant before the earliest planting date? Replant payments are around $45/acre for corn and $38/acre for soybeans, Schnitkey says.

"The $45.44 corn replant payment equals 8 bushels times the 2012 projected price of $5.68 per bushel. The $37.65 soybean replant payment equals 3 bushels times the 2012 projected price of $12.55. The 8 bushel corn and 3 bushel soybean factor remain the same across years. Projected prices vary by year, resulting in varying replant payments across years," he says. "The $45.44 and $37.65 soybean payments are maximum payments. If a farm has APH yield below 40 bushels for corn or 15 bushels for soybeans, the replant payment will be the APH yield time 20% times the projected price."

Gil Gullickson

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