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Prevent Plant Options for 2020

by Amber Roberts, Extension educator

For northwest Minnesota, wet conditions and cool soil temperatures have delayed planting. Farmers with federal crop insurance who have been unable to plant by the final planting date still have options. The first step for farmers is to contact your crop insurance agent to determine your prevent plant eligibility.

The final planting date for corn in northern counties is May 25 and for the rest of Minnesota is May 31. The final planting date for soybeans is June 10 for the entire state. The late planting period lasts 25 days after the crop’s final planting date, during which a 1% decrease in insurance guarantee is applied for every day the crop is not planted.

Map of Minnesota Planting Dates

After the final planting date, farmers who meet their crop insurance criteria and were unable to plant have the following options:

Late Planting
Insurable crops can still be planted during the late planting period. Farmers who chose to plant corn or soybeans after the final planting date will have their guarantee reduce by 1% per day. Acres planted during the late planting period will receive lower yields or revenue guarantees than acres planted on time. Yield guarantees and actual yields are averaged using the on time and late planted acres, which lowers the average guarantee per acre.

Example:
A farm in northern Minnesota has an Actual Production History corn yield of 160 bushels per acre and elected a 75% coverage and chose the Crop Revenue Coverage. Their guarantee would be: 160 x 75% = 120 x $3.88 = $465.6 per acre. The farm has 200 acres of insured corn. The farm plants 150 acres before May 25 and 50 acres are planted on June 5, ten days after the final planting date for northern Minnesota. For the 150 acres planted on time the total revenue guarantee would be $69,840 (150 acres * $465.6 at 100%). The 50 late planted acres have a total revenue guarantee of $20,952 (50 acres * $465.6 at 90%). The average guarantee per acre is $453.96 ($69,840 + $20,952 = $90,792/200 acres).

Prevent Planting
Farms who chose not to plant during the late planting period will receive their full prevent plant payment and should contact their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of the final planting date. Farmers will receive 55% of the original guarantee for corn and 60% of the guarantee for soybeans. Farms may still be eligible for their full prevent plant payment if they chose to plant cover crops, but must comply with restrictions that prevent haying or grazing of cover crops before November 1.

Example: A farm in northern Minnesota has 200 acres of corn with a guarantee of $465.6, similar to the previous example. They plant 150 acres on May 15th and wet conditions prevent them from planting the remaining 50 acres. The prevent plant payment per acre for the 50 unplanted acres is $256.08 ($465.6 x 55% of the guarantee).

Plant a Second Crop
Farmers can choose to plant a different crop before the end of the practical replant period for the insured crop. For corn, the practical planting period ends June 10. The insurance provider must first release the field for a new crop. Then they will terminate the coverage for the first crop and place full coverage on the second crop if eligible for crop insurance. Most commonly, Minnesota farmers who were prevented from planting corn will switch to plant soybeans, and soybeans will receive full insurance coverage. If the farmer decides to switch from corn to soybeans after June 10, coverage on soybeans will be reduced.

Example: A farm in northern Minnesota has 200 acres of corn with a guarantee of $465.6. They plant 150 acres of corn on May 15 and wet conditions prevent them from planting the remaining 50 acres. They work with their insurance agent to switch the remaining 50 acres to soybeans. These acres are now insured for soybean production and the farmer is able to plant soybeans on June 4.

Planting After the Late Planting Period
If farmers chose to plant the original insured crop after the late planting period, they will receive 55% of the corn guarantee and 60% of the guarantee for soybeans. Planting a second crop after the late planting period will result in a payment of 35% of the prevent plant indemnity. Farmers must insure and pay the premium on the second crop to receive the 35% payment. Haying or grazing cover crops prior to November 1 is considered planting a second crop.

Example: A farm in northern Minnesota has 200 acres of corn with a guarantee of $465.6. They plant 150 acres on time and with the remaining 50 acres, they plant cover crops that are grazed in August. The prevent plant payment for the 50 grazed acres is $159.08 per acre ($465.6 x 35% of the guarantee).

Farmers can read more information about their prevent plant options here. For specific questions regarding your farm's eligibility and prevent plant payments, reach out to your crop insurance agent or visit the USDA's RMA website.

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