September 30 is the deadline for producers of fall planted crops to sign up for Federally subsidized crop insurance coverage. It is also the deadline for making any changes to existing policies.
Among the crops that share this deadline are: winter wheat, oats, barley, rye, and forage production.
"Many producers may well want to consider making changes when they look at the relationship between crop insurance and the new Supplemental Revenue (SURE) permanent disaster program created in the 2008 Farm Bill," says Jan Eliassen, a private consultant who does risk management education work for the crop insurance industry, USDA's Risk Management Agency and several state departments of agriculture.
"It is important to check with your local USDA Farm Service Agency office to determine which of your crops need to be insured in order to be eligible for SURE," he adds. "An even more important consideration is that your SURE guarantee is considerably larger if you insure at higher levels of coverage."
Enterprise Units expand to winter wheat
"Another reason why some producers may be considering changes to their crop insurance coverage is that, for the first time, Enterprise units are available for Crop Revenue Coverage winter wheat," says Eliassen.
"CRC with Enterprise units usually costs less than yield coverage," he notes. "Switching may cut the premium in half."
A word of advice to those who do switch to Enterprise units, as many corn growers did last spring; you may want to continue to maintain your old records by optional units. Doing so will preserve your flexibility to switch back to optional units at some point in the future.
Finally, a good reason to boost insurance coverage on small grains is the higher cost of producing those grains. You have more at stake.
Ask FSA for details
These provisions apply to farmers in 41 states. The exceptions are: Arizona, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Utah and Vermont.
However, not all crops, nor all types of policies are available in every county or parish. For more information contact a crop insurance agent well before the September 30 deadline.