Post-Drought Comments On Crop Insurance May Surprise Some

Some farmers who didn't have it say they still won't buy insurance.

Published on: Jan 1, 2013

One farmer who hasn't bought crop insurance before lucked out with decent rains and decent crops. Even though just a few miles away crops were devastated, he's likely not going to buy crop insurance for 2013 either.

Why? It probably helps that he owns land and knows one year wouldn't wipe him out even with the worst disaster. And although he realizes his farm could have been like those a few miles away, it wasn't. Reality is he still had a decent crop.

A second farmer in a different part of the state hasn't bought crop insurance because he has mostly somewhat poorly drained soils and has never had a crop failure. He didn't this year either, although he had a scare. His area wound up being in a path that got rain in time to still make decent corn yields, and tremendous soybean yields.

No insurance? Is it a gutsy move to pass on crop insurance after seeing scenes like this from 2012? Youll have to decide based on your circumstances.
No insurance? Is it a gutsy move to pass on crop insurance after seeing scenes like this from 2012? You'll have to decide based on your circumstances.

Chris Hurt, Purdue Extension ag economist, issued a statement recently suggesting that more farmers should consider crop insurance for 2013 as a form of risk management. For example, the first farmer mentioned here has a much younger partner. The banker did not give him an option. He had to have crop insurance on his half of the crop.

There are pricing opportunities using various marketing tools which could also be used to take some of the risk out of next season, Hurt says. Watch the markets closely and determine if there are tools you should consider using.

Some people may think that if their soybean crop did well, as some did, soybeans are immune to drought. After all, this was the worst year for corn in 75 years or more, depending upon how you classify it.

Indiana's soybean yield estimate actually went up from 36 to 44 bushels per acre as late rains helped many beans salvage yield. However, Shaun Casteel, Purdue University soybean Extension specialist, acknowledged that if the weather forecast had held as predicted at the time, instead of rain returning Aug. 5 and continuing off and on in most areas, the soybean picture could have beans bleak as the picture for corn. August rains saved many soybean fields.