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“To plant or not to plant”

Photo Courtesy of the United Soybean Board

Many farmers will soon have to ask themselves: “To plant or not to plant.”

Those impacted by flooding and snowfall face this rather difficult task.

But a financial institution wants producers to know there are options.

Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) is committed to helping farmers, especially during difficult times. Doug Burns, vice president of related services for FCSAmerica, first encourages producers impacted by weather events to talk with a crop insurance agent to discuss planting coverage options.

“The first thing is there’s a final plant date. They (producers) can continue to plant into that late planting period, which is typically 25 days, or they can switch to another crop, which has later deadlines,” Burns said. ”The (other) option is they might be prevented from planting. If they’re prevented from planting, they can plant cover crops or they could idle the ground.”

Each option comes with specific requirements.

Producers prevented from planting must first attempt to plant.

“Attempt to plant the crop,” Burns said. “To be eligible for preventive planting – not coverage, but an indemnity – would be if at least 20 acres, or 20-percent of the unit is not planted. You have to think about what type of policy you have. Is it a enterprise unit or an optional unit policy? The next is the crop must have been planted in one of the four most recent years.”

FCSAmerica encourages producers interested in planting cover crops to contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) center. NRCS staff will fill producers in on proper species, seeding rates and other features associated with cover crops.

“If you hay, graze or harvest before November 1, there are some impacts. Make sure you checkout the types of cover crops that are eligible, and what you can and can’t do before November 1,” Burns said.

For additional information about coverage options, visit fcsamerica.com.