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‘To do’ list for crop loss

John Armatys of First National Insurance in Fullerton has been selling farm and crop insurance and serving area farmers for three decades. He says that when there is a crop loss in the field during the growing season, there are specific steps farmers need to be aware of to make their insurance claims go smoothly. They are:

At a glance

Farmers should report losses immediately.

Don’t destroy damaged crops until released by an adjuster.

Good records help expedite a claim for loss.

Notify your crop insurance agent immediately. “Don’t wait until you are sure you have a claim,” says Armatys. “If you think you may have a claim, then contact your agent.” It is better to be safe than sorry, and the sooner the local agent is contacted, the sooner an adjuster can visit the field to determine losses or release it for replanting.

Don’t destroy the crop until it is released by an insurance adjuster. “I’ve had customers in the past destroy the crop before it was released,” Armatys says. If the crop is destroyed before it is reviewed by the adjuster, the claim cannot be validated.

Communicate with employees to make sure they don’t destroy the damaged crop. Armatys says, “With larger farms and more employees, it’s important to communicate so that employees don’t accidentally destroy a damaged crop before an adjuster has visited the field.” He says that he has clients who prefer to have a meeting at the beginning of the year with the crop insurance agent, the farmer and all of the employees present, so everyone is on the same page.

Don’t commingle grain from different fields at harvesttime. Losses at harvest from a specific field cannot be determined if the grain is mixed with grain from other fields. Armatys says that it is imperative that crops are not commingled if a loss is suspected. Make sure the adjuster has the opportunity to measure the bin.

“Whatever records you have, make them available, such as planting dates, herbicide treatments and any weather information you may have kept in a journal or diary, such as dates and amounts of rain, wind or hail,” says H. Doug Jose, University of Nebraska Extension farm management specialist. “Always be open and forthright.”

For more information about what to do when there is a crop loss during the growing season, contact your local crop insurance agent, or call Jose at


REPORT THE LOSS: John Armatys with First National Insurance at Fullerton says that reporting a potential crop loss immediately helps your crop insurance agent process your claim quickly.

This article published in the June, 2011 edition of NEBRASKA FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.