Crop insurance has everyone's interest this year, and it is the main game in town in many areas. Crops are devastated in some areas, and likely will produce below crop insurance trigger levels in many others, depending upon the type of coverage you have. If you suspect a loss even now, Doug Emery of Diversified Services wants you to call your agent. Get on the claims list. A Diversified adjustor should get back with you within 24 hours, but your own company may have different rules. However, when the adjustor actually gets to your place could be a different story. Crop adjustors already have large piles of claims on their desk and it is only early August.
Here are a couple things you don't want to do if you want to keep your agent happy and protect your eligibility to receive the amount you are due through crop insurance.
One. Put new grain on top of old grain from last year in a bin. If you do it, put off calling your agent, because he won't be happy. This applies primarily to people storing corn at home or feeding corn. Once the new corn is added to existing corn in a bin, there is no way for the adjustor to get an accurate measurement of how much corn in the bin you produced this year. Think ahead before you make decisions like mixing old corn and new corn this year.
Two. See ear rot in the field, but shell the corn and bin it anyway before letting anybody know. The table is set for an outbreak of aflatoxin, although it hasn't shown up in Indiana yet. This is the kind of season it likes. Aflatoxin is a problem because it affects livestock in a negative way. There are set limits on how much is allowed in feed for various animals. If your levels are high, it will be docked heavily at the elevator.
The problem for crop insurance companies Emery says is that once you bin your corn, coverage ceases. And there is the potential for the fungus that produces the toxin to grow and greatly increase levels of the aflatoxin in the bin. This is made worse if you don't follow proper drying procedures for damaged corn and dry the contaminated corn to lower levels. You also want to keep it segregated from other corn.
Crop insurance adjustors can make allowance for aflatoxin as a quality issue, but only if you notify them ahead of time so they can pull samples. RMA lays out tight specifics on how corn is to be tested for aflatoxin for crop insurance purposes.
To read more about aflatoxin and the fungus that has the potential to produce it, click here.