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Agricultural News

Crop Insurance Deadline Draws Near- Scott Bulling Says Do Your Homework

Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:53:09 CDT

Crop Insurance Deadline Draws Near- Scott Bulling Says Do Your Homework Farmers have less than a week to make their crop insurance decisions for their 2016 winter wheat crop. Farmers have until Wednesday, September 30th to decide if they want crop insurance and their coverage level. With the 2014 Farm Bill, Oklahoma wheat farmers will have decide if they want to utilize yield exclusion. Scott Bulling with Superior Crop Insurance based in Calumet, said this allows farmers to exclude some of the bad production years from their records. By doing that, he said they are increasing their average yields, thus increasing their coverage.

"With the low prices that we've got this year, the multi-peril prices come in at $5.20 a bushel, that's down a dollar from where we were last year," Bulling said. "With that lower coverage, we really need to be looking at trying to increase our yields and increase our coverage the best we can."

Farmers will have to opt into the yield exclusion program by contacting their crop insurance agent.   Bulling said farmers need to understand how yield exclusion works because every producer will have a different choice to make on every farm.

"Some farms it's going to be beneficial, some farms it won't, but by in large looking at a broad picture, I would recommend that producers look at it real careful and probably take it," Bulling said.

Farmers have until September 30th to opt into the yield exclusion program. This gives farmers time to evaluate the program. Farmers can choose to opt-out of the program through November 14th. If a county had a bad production year, in producing less than half a crop, then it becomes excludable for an individual farm. Next, the farmer determines if their individual farm had a poor production year by looking at their database.

"If excluding that year out of their database lowers their average, then you say I opt-out of that yield exclusion for that year and it allows them to hold their average up," Bulling said. "If they had bad yields on those bad years for the county, then they can drop those years out of their database and in essence raise their average. They exclude that bad average or that bad yield from their overall average and in essence raise their coverage."

This marks the first time Oklahoma wheat farmers will be able to take advantage of the yield exclusion program. Earlier this year, the program was available for spring planted crops.

Along with federal crop insurance coverage, farmers can also look at additional crop protection coverage. Bulling said these programs are not backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but they work with the federal crop insurance policy. Bulling said one program allows farmers to add 50 cents, a dollar or $1.50 per bushel coverage. With low wheat prices, he said this is something farmers should consider. He said this works better for farmers with optional units, while it's less desirable for farmers with enterprise units. Bulling recommends farmers work with their crop insurance agent to look at their additional options to minimize risk.

Bulling encourages farmers to consider adding the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) to their crop insurance policy. Bulling has found SCO works well with the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, while the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program is a standalone option.

With so many coverage options, Bulling said farmers should be prepared to spend more time talking and working with their crop insurance agent than in the past. Crop insurance agents will have to know more about their client's farms in order to minimize their risk. Bulling said farmers need to make sure everything is correct, because we don't get many chances to make mistakes on crop insurance.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Scott Bulling about these crop insurance options. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.

Scott Bulling will be my guest Saturday morning for our regular In the Field TV segment as seen on KWTV News9- at about 6:40 AM.



Ron Hays interviews Scott Bulling with Superior Crop Insurance based in Calumet
right-click to download mp3


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