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Co-op health care coming to you?

While the debate about health care reform continues in Congress, an Upper Midwest health cooperative group patiently waits to see how its farmers’ insurance program might become a national or state option.

New health care law includes tax breaks

In March, the United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obama Care.”

Crop insurance rebates

Call it a “safe driver” discount for farmers. Growers who have paid into the crop insurance program but who seldom make claims on their crop insurance coverage could qualify for annual refunds under a new plan proposal by USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Prevent livestock theft, vandalism

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers has received numerous reports of stolen livestock and other reports of farm vandalism across the state in recent months. CSIF recommends livestock farmers be cautious and aware of suspicious people or vehicles near their farms.

New weather insurance offered

Farmers know every season begins a new battle against uncontrollable weather challenges. But it seems like extreme weather events have become the norm in recent years.

Lessons learned from field fires

So you think you’re covered if your field catches fire at harvesttime. You have crop insurance. You also have an umbrella policy for your farming operation. What if your neighbor’s combine catches his field on fire and flames jump to your field? You think your loss will be covered by your neighbor’s liability insurance. Think again; it may not be.

Drought’s effect on rent

A question heard frequently these days is: “How is the drought and excessive heat going to affect my cash rent?” It is being asked by both landowners and tenants. The best answer is, “It’s too early to tell.” People are also asking, “Are farmers going to survive?” In many parts of the Midwest, the answer to these questions depends on financial stability, marketing talents (or luck), good soil tilth and crop insurance.

Drought spurs insurance queries

N early 90% of the corn and soybean acres in Iowa are covered by multiple peril crop insurance. Drought damage is an insurable loss under these policies. Farmers should consult with their crop insurance agents before harvesting or destroying any drought-damaged crops, says William Edwards, an Iowa State University Extension economist.

Manage crop insurance payments

Farmers who pay income taxes on a cash basis have been adept at shifting farm income and expenses into the tax year that’s most advantageous.

Magnitude, risk define modern farm

Russ Mauch, Mooreton, N.D., past president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, says it is no great mystery why the urban public has a complete lack of understanding of the life and challenges of a farmer.

Tech expedites insurance claims

Crop insurers are in the midst of the largest claim year on record, both in terms of the number of claims and the size of indemnities. Estimates run as large as $25 billion in crop insurance payments to producers across the U.S., resulting from the historic drought of 2012.

Insurance didn’t cover hog loss

The plaintiffs discovered the hard way the insurance coverage they purchased did not cover losses in their contract feeding operation in the event of an accidental death of the livestock under their care, custody and control. The plaintiffs were contract-feeding hogs for other parties.

The Climate Corp. adapts 2013 wheat-crop coverage

The Climate Corp. is aware that the weather is increasingly extreme across the farm belt of the United States — particularly in wheat country, where rainfall has been largely nonexistent for close to three months. As a result, the company’s 2013 wheat-crop coverage is more adaptive than ever before.

New insurance helps with weather woes

There’s a new way of thinking and a new kind of crop insurance that’s raising a few eyebrows and interest in the countryside.

Pilot crop insurance program expanded for sweet cherries

One specialty crop insurance program key to Michigan recently took a notable step forward. Limited to just two counties for the past decade as an experimental pilot program, crop insurance for sweet cherry farmers will now be available to growers in five more counties beginning in the 2013 crop year.

Is LGM a good margin-protector?

We’ve been hearing more about how the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy, or LGM-Dairy, insurance program is being made easier and more convenient to use. But isn’t it more convenient to just contract milk through my cooperative to cover the same risks?

FSA changes acreage reporting

For crop insurance and USDA farm program purposes each year, farmers must report their planted acreage information to the local Farm Service Agency office. This year there are important changes in acreage certification and crop insurance to keep in mind.

New tobacco threat: fraud

More than 200 tobacco farmers and tobacco industry representatives met at a meeting called by the Risk Management Agency on March 16 in Wilson, N.C., to discuss the growing problem of crop insurance fraud in tobacco. To make certain farmers felt able to speak freely, reporters were asked to leave at the beginning of the meeting.

Leasing land? Know what your rights are

A farmer steps out his truck on his leased farmland only to find a group of hunters he does not know. His first instinct is to call the local authorities. But, Joe Koenen says, don’t start dialing just yet.