Moves To Make On Drought-Damaged Crops

MD and PA ag officials urge prompt crop damage reporting plus testing for nitrates and aflatoxin.

Published on: Jul 26, 2012

Yesterday, as hot weather continued stressing Mid-Atlantic crops, top ag officials for Pennsylvania and Maryland reminded farmers to report crop damage to their crop insurance agent and local Farm Service Agency office. Potential losses should be reported within 72 hours of discovery, pointed out Pennsylvania Ag Secretary George Greig.

Greig also reminded producers to file timely notices with their county Farm Service Agency office to take advantage of potential federal disaster benefits, such as using Conservation Reserve Program land for emergency grazing or low-rate emergency loans.

WEATHER-WORN: High humidity and heat have hard-hammered corn this season, raising risk of mold and toxins as well.
WEATHER-WORN: High humidity and heat have hard-hammered corn this season, raising risk of mold and toxins as well.

Make certain you understand insurance claim filing requirements, added Maryland Ag Secretary Buddy Hance. Damage needs to be reported your crop insurance agent and your local FSA office immediately.

Last year, insured Pennsylvania producers recovered nearly $65 million from losses. .  Crop insurance in Maryland provided more than $398 million of protection.

The rules are . . .

Crop damage or loss reporting for insurance policies on most crops requires that written notice be given to crop insurance agent at least 15 days before harvest begins. A pre-harvest appraisal also is required for most direct-marketed crops.

Do not destroy evidence of damage until a loss adjuster evaluates it. If a loss adjuster isn't able to view your damage in a timely manner, you may request permission from your insurance agent to leave sample rows so harvesting isn't delayed. 

In many cases, it may be too early to accurately appraise the crop. Producers considering cutting their corn for silage, or tearing up a corn crop to plant soybeans should discuss this with their insurance company.

For acreage not being harvested, the company can establish representative strips. These strips must be maintained and will be used to establish yield. Corn insured for silage is handled differently than corn insured as grain. Consult with your company before proceeding.

Maryland offers free grain/forage testing

Aflatroxins, nitrates and prussic acid are always a risk associated with drought damage. That's why MDA encourages farmers in the state using nitrate fertilizers on corn and sudan-sorghum grasses to take advantage of free testing by the department's State Chemist Section. Likewise, corn growers can have free tests done for molds and aflatoxins.

These compounds, which can sicken or be deadly to livestock, or even affect pregnancies, are often present in dry weather conditions. A sample information sheet can be found on the MDA website as to the amount, storage and how to obtain a representative sample. For grain sampling instructions and a submission form, log onto www.mda.maryland.gov/pdf/silage_sampling.pdf.