Planting challenges raise crop insurance concerns

Ray Mueller
Farmers across the state are eager to get seed into the ground, however, wet weather has not only prevented them from entering fields but some fields may have to be replanted due to standing water.

MADISON – With tens of thousands of acres of major crops not yet planted across Wisconsin because of excess moisture and cool temperatures during much of the spring, the planting deadlines for maintaining full coverage on crop insurance already having passed in some cases and are near for many others.

A reminder on that point was issued by University of Wisconsin – Madison and Extension Service agricultural economist Paul Mitchell to alert farmers about those deadlines and about their obligation to keep their crop insurance agents informed about late and prevented plantings and any replantings.

For full coverage on crop insurance, the final planting dates in Wisconsin's northern tiers of counties were May 25 for grain corn and May 31 for silage corn, Mitchell points out. In approximately the southern three fourths of the state, the respective deadlines were May 31 and June 5.

For soybeans, the final planting dates are June 10 in most of the state and June 15 for two or three tiers of counties in the southern part of the state. Guarantees on crop insurance policies are reduced by 1 percent for every day that planting occurs after the respective final planting days.

One exception is that small acreages do not trigger late or prevented planting provisions, Mitchell notes. At least 20 acres or 20 percent of the unit acreage coverage for the crop must be affected.

In the case of prevented planting, farmers can obtain an indemnity payment of 60 percent of their crop insurance guarantee. Mitchell points out that they are allowed to grow a forage or cover crop, including the establishment of alfalfa, on those acres but the crop cannot be harvested or grazed until after November 1.