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Poor planting conditions prompt questions about insurance options for non-conventional practices

Because cold, wet weather has delayed planting this spring, producers may be looking at alternatives like broadcast seeding crops. If they decide to go this route, producers may request an Unrated Practice or Type (TP) written agreement through their insurance company to cover broadcast-seeded crops when the policy prohibits the practice or isn’t available for the crop in the county. 

The deadline to request a TP written agreement with a November 30 Contract Change Date is July 15. If a producer wishes to request a written agreement after his crops are planted, a crop inspection is required before insurance can be attached. 

“We have received many questions this spring from insurance companies asking on behalf of their insured producers about broadcast seeding due to the poor planting conditions, especially in northwestern Minnesota,” says Pamela Stahlke, USDA’s Risk Management Agency St. Paul Regional Office director. “We’re continuing to monitor the progress of the delayed planting and replants due to cold temperatures, overland flooding, and heavy storms throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Iowa during this spring planting season.”

Broadcast seeding may be a suitable option for many producers, particularly when there are planting delays because of cold, wet weather. 

The practice can qualify for insurance if the conditions of a written agreement are met. Broadcast seeding is defined by its two-step method.

  • The seed is first broadcast by any method onto the surface of a seedbed, which has been properly prepared for the planting method and production practice.
  • The seed is subsequently incorporated into the soil at the proper depth in a timely manner.

Currently, 21 counties in Minnesota and 31 counties in Iowa allow broadcast seeding of soybeans to be insured without a written agreement.

The USDA encourages producers who are looking into non-conventional planting options to contact their crop insurance agent. 

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