Greetings for the new year! As we hopefully start to leave COVID and the chaos of 2020 behind, I am reminded of another divisive period that Donna and I grew up in. With Vietnam, the riots or protests following Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder in 1968, Kent State and then Watergate, opinions were very divided. May we once again find ways to communicate effectively with our friends, family, and neighbors to find common ground for moving ahead into a better future for all of us.
As we start to think about the future of risk management for 2021, it can be helpful to review some of the issues, both environmental and financial, that will likely affect our choices. Here are just a few:
It looks like 2021 will be a relatively quiet year as far as changes in crop insurance is concerned. As I mentioned in our December letter, after several years of turmoil with hail and wind insurance rates, at this point 2021 appears to be much calmer. Hail and wind are the biggest environmental risks that Nebraska irrigation farmers face and these policy rates are often the deciding factor in their insurance program. It looks like we will be able to offer some of the lowest rates available for 2021.
Probably the biggest financial risk that Nebraska irrigation farmers face is price. Over the years, AIPs (Approved Insurance Providers) have offered different versions of band insurance that allow farmers to insure values up to 95% of their APH x spring price. Because these policies cover a high level of price and production, and are private products, they are very costly. Rates have been close to $.35 for every dollar of coverage. This year the RMA is offering ECO, which is their version of band insurance. Because this is a federal policy, rates should be much cheaper and will be worth taking a look at.
Here at Midplains Ag, we don’t just sell crop insurance. Our families have a long history of farming in Antelope County. As farmers and now as an insurance agency, we are aware that farmers need to have a working knowledge of their crop insurance policy. When we visit with our clients in the spring, we like to have a two-way discussion to ensure you understand your options and choose the policies that best fit your needs. We know that one of the responsibilities of a good crop insurance agency is to make sure that our clients understand the ins and outs of your policy. That said, some of the terms, abbreviations, and acronyms can get confusing and are difficult to remember from year to year.
Some of the more common optional codes that are typically included in our area with your policies are listed here:
If you have any questions about your policy or the terminology found on it, please give us a call so we can help you fully understand your policy.
Last summer, Lordemann insurance bought Elgin Insurance from Kathy Volk. We have carried our P & C (property and casualty) insurance at Elgin Insurance for many years and have always been happy with the service. In discussions with Eric Lordemann, we have begun to look at ways we could work together. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial working relationship.
Here are a few comments from Eric: Lordemann Insurance has been a Property & Casualty personal and commercial lines and Crop Insurance Agency since 1984. In 2020 we were able to grow our Agency with the purchase of Elgin Insurance Services. With this purchase we were able to expand to include Health Life, and Accident Insurance becoming a Full Lines agency. We reached out to Midplains Ag to see how we could work together to offer both of our client bases the best and most effective ways to cover all of your insurance needs. We look forward to bringing our years of experience in Ag and Ag Insurance to combine with the knowledge and experience of Midplains Ag.
As with many things, COVID is presenting a challenge in holding our annual February meeting. Like everyone else, we have had a lot of experience using Zoom to hold meetings with great success over the past few months. We are planning at this time to use Zoom for our annual meeting. Topics will be similar to previous years.
Date – February 10th
Trent Stremick – ARMtech - ECO and Band Insurance
Shawn Wattier – RCIS – Hail & Wind Insurance
Ben Buckner – AgResource – An overview of commodity markets
Dale Hebda – PinPoint Solutions – A Technical Look at the Commodity Markets
Eric Lordemann – P & C topics
With the extended warm fall-like weather lasting through Christmas, we’ve been making good progress on Rachel’s geothermal greenhouse. The Lexan panels on the South and tin siding on the North are installed, and we are working on enclosing the end walls.
The more recent wintry weather has allowed us some time to play in the snow.
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