I spent my Tuesday "unplugged" due, to my son dunking my phone in the toilet on Monday. It is fun to remember what it was like before we had cell phones, and memorized phone numbers to use land lines all the time. After a full day of getting ready to mail invitations to our annual crop insurance meeting, we headed out to activate an old phone on the way to a conference. I dropped the kids off at my mom's house while I went to Kearney, NE for the conference. They had a great time, having lots of grandma and cousin time as well.
I had a great time at the IIAN winter conference.
I started the day out attending the precision ag and crop insurance seminar presented by QBE NAU an approved insurance provider (AIP). It was great information that helped me to better understand the connections and processes that go along with using precision data in crop insurance reporting. My biggest take away from the presentation is that you need to have 3 pieces of precision ag information to use any of it. The 3 pieces required are: precision planting data, a calibration report (take a picture of the calibration screen on monitor), and harvest data from a yield monitor. QBE NAU recommended using a planting prescription as a best practice to show the separation between practice type with precision ag reporting. The use of a prescription identifies where there is a change in population or some other application process, and makes it easy to upload to the AIP. They can then use the files to differentiate between irrigated and non-irrigated acres. This saves the farmer from having to create that distinct line between the two crops.
If you want to use precision planting data to report to your AIP, there are options out there for prescription writing. If you don't have time to learn the software, there are people that have learned to use the software and want to help you make the most of this technology. Midplains Ag is one of those companies. Ryan would love to sit down and learn about your farm and help you create the prescriptions for your operation.
My morning session also featured Jen McPhillips, Independent Insurance Agents & Broker of America (IIABA) VP of Federal Government Affairs from Washington DC gave an update on the success of Big "I" grass roots initiatives and how they influence changes that are important to agents and farmers alike. My big take away from her presentation was that phone calls to representatives are the most effective, and that educating the representative’s staff is very important. Once the office staff gains an understanding of the situation, they then present this to the representative.
Todd Anderson a crop insurance agent and member of Big "I" Crop Task Force shared why he decided to get involved with lobbying. It was interesting to learn about the 2011 SRA. Since, I am new to the crop insurance industry I was unaware of where the cap to agent's commissions had come from. It was great to learn about the process that brought it about. I hope that in the future the AIP's, RMA, and agents can come to a more mutually beneficial agreement for all parties.
The Holiday Inn conference center in Kearney does a great job. I enjoyed a great meal, as I have come to expect. Thanks to the many sponsors that make the meals possible. While enjoying meal, Jen McPhillips gave a more in depth update about the goings on in Washington D.C. She anticipates that depending on how long it takes to repeal and replace Affordable Care Act, there is a chance that the farm bill will be addressed in 2018. The Big "I" is preparing and laying the ground work to make the farm bill as beneficial to all parties as possible. The goal is to make sure that the budget doesn't just gouge one area or another. We need to spread the cuts evenly among all the parties. I found it very hopeful that the Big "I" is being very bipartisan and working together with all the different groups to meet as many needs as possible.