March 17 is a very important date for most crop producers. It's the insurance enrollment deadline for most spring planted crops.
Corn and soybeans may be at record levels. But so are input costs -- $300 to $600 an acre, reports Gene Gantz, risk management specialist for USDA's Risk Management Agency. "What if it doesn't rain, or if a hail storm arrives with a rain? Crop insurance at least guarantees a pay day," he adds.
Also be aware that federal crop disaster provisions were changed last year. The new rules require that damaged crops must be insured or enrolled in NAP if crop insurance isn't available to be eligible for disaster payments.
Buy adequate protection
Crop insurance price elections have also been raised. Corn's actual production history yield coverage price election is $4.75 per bushel.
Corn's crop revenue coverage base price ($4.06 last year) will be set the first few days in March. It's the average daily closing price during February for Chicago Board of Trade's December 2008 contract.
CRC is a very popular insurance plan in because it's a good foundation for preharvest crop pricing and provides the best protection to replace lost feed when crops are grown for on farm use.
Ask your insurance agent for a side-by-side comparison of different coverage options.