With all the rain and flooding in the Midwest and the wet spring here in the Northeast, lots of farmers are wondering about their prevented planting coverage under crop insurance. Prevented planting coverage provides protection whenever an eligible crop cannot be planted because of adverse weather conditions, provided it is a condition general to the geographic area. Excess precipitation that occurs during the insurance period and prevents the planting of areas with similar production characteristics is covered under the prevented planting provision.
In Pennsylvania, prevented planting coverage is automatically part of all individual barley, corn, soybean, grain sorghum, oat, and wheat policies (including CAT policies). Basic prevented planting coverage provides a level of protection equal to 55% (for corn) or 60% (for soybeans, grain sorghum, and spring small grains) of the insurance guarantee. Higher levels of prevented planting protection are available for buy-up level policies for additional premium. Any prevented planting payment you receive will be based on the basic coverage level plus any additional buy-up protection. Prevented planting coverage is not available on area plans.
An important date for understanding prevented planting coverage is the “final planting date”. This is the final date that you can plant the insured crop and still receive 100% of your crop insurance production guarantee. In Pennsylvania, final planting dates are June 10 for corn, either June 10 or June 20 for soybeans (depending on the county), and June 20 for grain sorghum. The final planting date for spring oats and barley was May 10.
If you can't plant by the final planting date, you have six options:
- Plant the insured crop during the late planting period and a reduced level of insurance coverage will be provided. The late planting period generally extends for 25 days after the final planting date. For most crops the insurance guarantee is reduced 1% for each day that planting is delayed beyond the final planting date. You will not receive a prevented planting payment in this situation.
- Plant the insured crop after the late planting period and have insurance coverage equal to your prevented planting coverage level. You will not receive a prevented planting payment in this situation.
- Leave the land idle and receive a full prevented planting payment.
- Plant a cover crop during the late planting period and receive a full prevented planting payment as long as it is not hayed or grazed before November 1. If you hay or graze it before November 1, you will not receive a prevented planting payment.
- Plant a cover crop after the late planting period and receive a full prevented planting payment as long as it is not hayed or grazed before November 1. If you hay or graze it before November 1, you will receive a 35% prevented planting payment.
- Plant a second crop after the late planting period (if you were also prevented from planting during the late planting period). You will receive a prevented planting payment equal to 35% of the prevented planting guarantee.
If you are prevented from planting your insured crop, you are required to provide a notice that you were prevented from planting within 72 hours after either:
1) the final planting date (if you do not intend to plant the insured crop during the late planting period) or
2) when you determine you will not be able to plant the insured crop within the late planting period.
To qualify for a prevented planting payment, the unplanted acreage must be at least 20 acres or 20% of the crop acreage in the insured unit, whichever is less. If you have questions about prevented planting protection under your crop insurance policy, contact your crop insurance agent about filing a claim before changing your cropping plans.