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The time for prevented planting decisions has arrived

By Matt Reese

It is June 5 — the much-discussed prevented planting date for corn in Ohio. Many fields are still way too wet to plant and it is decision time (and it is not an easy one to make).

What should be done?

“First you need to talk to your agent to see what your prevent plant eligibility is. Looking back at the last four crop years, the highest number of corn acres you planted will be the maximum acres that you can take prevented plant on corn. You need to find out first how many eligible acres you have,” said Keith Summers, with Leist Mercantile in Pickaway County. “Then, if you decide to take prevented planting, you need to notify your agent and file notice of loss. You can plant for 20 days into that late plant period past June 5, but if you make that determination, you need to get that claim filed. You lose 1% of your insurance guarantee each day after that final plant date.”

The prevented planting payment for corn is 55% of the initial insurance guarantee and for soybeans is 60% of the guarantee, unless higher limits were purchased. Prevented planting acres must be reported on the acreage report and the premium is the same as planted acres. Prevented planting has no impact on APH.

Brian Frieden, director of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Springfield Regional Office, said there are several options are available for producers unable to plant a crop by the final planting date because of an insurable cause of loss. A producer may:

  1. Plant the insured crop during the late planting period with a reduced guarantee;
    2. Not plant a crop and receive a prevented planting payment;
    3. Plant the acreage to another crop after the late planting period ends and receive a reduced prevented planting payment; or
    4. Plant a cover crop and receive a full prevented planting payment provided that the cover crop is not hayed or grazed before Nov. 1, or otherwise harvested at any time.

Replant payments may also be available for land that was planted and does not have an adequate stand. Producers should contact their insurance agent if they believe acreage should be replanted. Producers must receive written permission from the insurance company to replant, abandon or destroy a crop.

Frieden said producers who are prevented from planting because of an insurable cause of loss also must provide notice within 72 hours after the final planting date at their local Farm Service Agency office if they do not intend or are unable to plant the insured crop within any applicable late planting period. To qualify for a prevented planting payment, the affected acreage must be at least 20 acres or 20% of the crop acreage in the insured unit. Prevented planting is not available on area insurance policies, such as Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI).

The Ohio prevented planting date for soybeans is June 20 with a 25-day late plant period that extends until July 15.

“With the soybeans it is the same process as it is with the corn. You can plant into July with their late plant period. Otherwise the process is the same as with the corn as far a filing a claim,” Summers said. “But it is important that you get that claim filed. If you change your mind, that is OK. We can always withdraw that claim, but you only have 72 hours once you make that determination. If you switch acres from corn to beans, it is not a big deal. You just plant the beans and move on.”

In his area, Summers said that, despite some challenges planting, there will not be a huge number of prevented planting acres in 2019.

“Our advice is to our customers is to do what you think is best for you. The customers that I am talking to, they are going to plant. They are going to get a crop in the ground,” Summers said. “We have seen a little rally in prices to levels we didn’t think we were going to see. They want to take advantage of that.”

For more, farmers can reference RMA’s Planting Date Map Viewer for final planting dates by crop, state, county, policy type and farming practice. Additional resources to help with this important decision, including a Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions, are highlighted at https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/Topics/Prevented-Planting and https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2019/05/prevented-planting-2019-market-facilitation-program-payments-disaster-assistance-and-price-dynamics.html.

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