Preparing for the 2021 crop season

As we prepare for the 2021 crop season, we are in a very different situation compared to last year. Last year we were facing low prices with the prospect of even lower prices. This winter, prices are the highest we have seen in several years.

Even with higher prices, we can’t afford to be careless in our planning so we can control risks. Controlling risks requires that you understand your operation, both in how much risk you can stand and how to mitigate the risk you can’t.

Whether those decisions involve production decisions like fertilizer, weed control, seeds and irrigation or management decisions like financing, marketing or insurance, these decisions need to be based on good information and advice from knowledgeable people.


Risks

The biggest risks that most farmers with irrigation face are hail, wind and price. The three main categories of hail insurance are basic, companion and the production plan. Which plan is most appropriate for your operation?

A windstorm can be devastating. Wind and greens snap insurance comes with many different options and can be expensive. Which options are best for your situation?

With the higher prices, we can insure revenue at the highest level since 2013. Price risk can be managed in many ways including grain contracts, hedging and insurance. With federal crop insurance, there are many choices to make. Do you just insure yield or both yield and price? Are optional units or enterprise units the best choice? Do you farm in multiple counties? What protection level do you choose?

This year, you will be confronted by new choices such as ECO. It can be difficult to weigh all the options on your own and be able to choose the best options for your operation, in terms of both affordability and benefits. If you have questions, we are here to help call 402-843-5342 or email info@midplns.com.


Prevent Plant

There are specific conditions involved with each type of policy and the risks they cover. These can change from year to year. For this year, the prevent plant policy terms have changed a bit from past years. This change could affect you!

Here are the changes for the upcoming crop year:

  • Acres must have been planted, harvested, AND insured at least 1 out of the last four years.
  • Once acres fall out of compliance, they must be planted 2 consecutive years to be eligible for a PP payment the 3rd year


Eric's Comments

Farming and risk management go hand in hand. As farmers you have some of the largest gross assets in the nation and are unfortunately at high risk for lawsuits when things go wrong. Your exposures also vary from operation to operation; from implements and ATVs traveling down public roads to livestock and farm employees.

Nebraska does not require farmers with fewer than 10 employees to carry Workers Compensation insurance, but you are still liable for any injuries sustained while working. Even if a neighbor or friend is offering to help you without payment, if you offer a can of soda or a meal or trade labor for helping, they are then considered an employee and you are liable for any injuries sustained while working.

Many base farm liability policies limit out at 1,000,000 per occurrence and 2,000,000 annually, often leaving a large amount of unprotected assets.

Umbrella policies offer coverage beyond your Farm Owners’ and Auto insurance. Coverage is available up to $10 million or even more.

Our Approach

Here at Midplains Ag, we’ve had 15 years of experience working with crop insurance and several decades of experience managing a farm. We’ve experienced firsthand the pain of improperly managing risk. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you make the best plans possible for your operation’s success.

Our current clients are familiar with the approach we take to help you understand the available options and which ones are the most appropriate for your operation. We have spent many hours putting the available choices into a format that can help you make a solid choice that best manages your risk AND fits your budget. If you’d like to learn more, please consider attending our annual meeting for more information.

Hear From the Experts at Our 2021 Annual Meeting

Every February, we hold a meeting where we discuss the changes in crop insurance and looking at commodity markets since they go hand in hand. This year’s meeting will be held February 10th at 7pm on Zoom due to COVID. Learn more here, www.midplainsag.com/annual-meeting.

We will have several speakers on various topics regarding market risk and insurance options:

Ben Buckner a consultant with AgResource, one of the most respected market analysis firms in the US, will be discussing the market outlook. He’s been a regular speaker at our annual meeting.

Shawn Wattier of RCIS will be discussing hail and wind insurance and the choices available.

Trent Stremick with ARMtech will be discussing ECO and band insurance which are another choice that will be available this year.

Eric Lordemann of Elgin Insurance will discuss insurance issues such as insuring ATVs, drones, entities, liability coverage, umbrellas and employee liability.

All are welcome to attend this informational meeting, and if you’d like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact us at 402-843-5342 to schedule.

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