Farmers in Indiana are trying to decide if they should plant their corn or not

posted on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Current News

By Eric Pfeiffer, Hoosier Ag Today

HAT Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin has news that no one wanted to hear saying, “At this point, I’d say stick a fork in corn planting. We’re still holding out hope, though, that we can get some beans moving.

With that in mind, farmers across the corn belt are trying to weigh their options. Do I take prevented plant, or do I try to plant late? Nearly 200 farmers gathered at the Cass County 4H Fairgrounds Thursday for a meeting hosted by the Dick Sims Crop Insurance Agency to try to get some clarity as they prepare to make those decisions. Sharon Shock, Loss Supervisor for Great American Crop Insurance in Indiana, says you should be talking with your insurance company as soon as possible so the adjusting process can get started.

“That June 5 date is the last date they can get their full guarantee. The next day, they can claim prevented plant if that’s what makes sense, which in northern Indiana it might very well make sense, especially if you’ve got some ground that’s susceptible to freeze in the fall. So, they can go prevented plant or they can still attempt to plant, but they’re going to see that reduction in their guarantee then.”

Shock said the big question they’re getting right now is if adjusters can come out to the field and tell farmers exactly how many dollars they might claim.

“At this point in this game, it’s just impossible for us to be able to do that. We can calculate a per acre amount for them.”

Shock knows that the pencils are out and ready to be sharpened. She said that one issue that comes up is, “when they’re trying to actually figure out how many acres and they start looking at that historical versus what they intended to plant this year. Someone could come up short on the corn side and it’s possible we could still pay them, but it might be paid at a lower rate because they’ve never planted that many acres before.”

Cover crops also muddy the decision making. Farmers should reach out directly to their insurance company with specific questions about their policy and individual situations. The point was made at the meeting that claims can always be started on June 6 and then withdrawn if you change your mind. It’s important, though, to get in the queue.