There is one more item farmers need to keep an eye on this harvest season: Crop insurance.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials encourage producers faced with harvest delays to contact their Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) to file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest.
“We’re bumping up against, in some areas, final harvest dates or final coverage dates for crop insurance. We’re asking producers who are getting close to those dates to reach out to their crop insurance agent. That agent will then reach out to the company and let them know they (producers) need extra days to harvest, if that’s what they (producers) would like. In many cases, producers need to tell the agent they may have a loss on that crop as well,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey.
Producers must file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest before the end of the insurance period, in order for federal crop insurance claims to settle based on harvested production. Under Secretary Northey says the best way to complete both of these tasks is by email or letter.
“I’d encourage producers to use an email, or letter, so they can have a date on it,” Northey said. “It makes it easier for both the agent, to record the date they received it and the producer, to record the date they made the request. It’s just nice to have a dated paper or email track.”
Failure to contact your insurance provider comes with consequences, according to Northey.
“It can affect coverage, if a producer does not get an extension,” Northey said. “Typically this is done in a way that a company will decide (whether or not) to extend for a (entire) county or not. A company may have extended it for another producer, (but) it’s still important for producers, themselves, to reach out to their agent.”
Producers eligible for extended coverage may be facing excessive moisture, flooding or snow. Northey adds, “This year, there is no shortage of good reasons why folks are not able to get harvested.”