USDA Can’t Extend Planting Dates


BY DTN/Progressive Farmer

via KTIC (NE) - June 5, 2019


OMAHA (DTN) — Responding to a request from the Agricultural Retailers Association, a USDA spokesperson said Wednesday it cannot change crop-insurance contracts to extend the planting season.


The Agricultural Retailers Association wants Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to extend the late-planting season for crop insurance to avoid the “risk of unintended consequences” from the disaster legislation that passed Congress.


A spokesperson for USDA responded to DTN that the department cannot make changes to the contracts between farmers and crop-insurance companies.


“Final planting dates and the late-planting period are part of a binding insurance contract between the producer and their insurance company. As such, they cannot be waived or altered during the insurance period,” a spokesperson stated in an email to DTN.


The ag retailers group fears its members will be left holding seed, treatments, fertilizer and other chemicals if farmers don’t plant a crop. The disaster package includes language on prevented-planting insurance that could boost prevent-planting insurance coverage to up to 90% of the loss for those who bought policies. The bill also has language that would allow farmers who did not obtain an insurance policy under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program to pay a fee and cover up to 70% of prevented-planting losses.


Based on the late season, analysts were already predicting a potential record year for prevented-planting claims and acreage even before the disaster aid was approved.


This week’s USDA Crop Progress report shows 67% of the nation’s projected corn acreage was planted and 39% of the soybean acreage was planted, as of June 2. The planted acreage was significantly lower than that in some key production states for both crops.


Final planting dates for corn were May 31 in Iowa, as well as most of Wisconsin and Minnesota; or June 5 for corn in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. June 10 is the final planting date for soybeans in most of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and most of Wisconsin. The date extends to June 15 for soybeans in Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and most of Michigan. And June 20 is the final planting date for soybeans in Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.


Crop insurance coverage declines 1% each day after the final planting date...