As we approach the end of the insurance period for corn and soybeans, there are still a lot of unharvested acres out there. The RMA released a bulletin in late October encouraging farmers to contact their agents regarding delayed harvest. The end of insurance period for soybeans and corn is December 10th. As crunch time approaches your options are becoming limited. The choices you will be making in regards to your unharvested acreage can have a big impact on your crop insurance. There has been a lot of questions this year about what to do if you can’t finish harvesting.
Many farmers have yet to finish harvesting. As hopeless as it may sound, the best thing to do is to continue your normal harvest practices if possible. Understandably, with the year we have had, it may be impossible. But, if you have any chance to get in the field before the deadline, you must do it. Waiting for a crop to dry out or because you will have increased expenses is not considered unharvestable. For insurance purposes, these are not valid reasons to leave the crop in the field. The acreage must be mechanically unharvestable. Prior to the end of insurance period, unable to mechanically harvest may be a temporary condition. Wet field conditions, snowy conditions, or accessibility may change and allow you to harvest. Simply put, if you have a window to harvest the crop you must harvest the crop for insurance purposes.
When the end of insurance period is reached and you still haven’t been able to get in the field, you can request an extension of harvest. The request will allow you to continue harvest after the end of insurance period if approved. Each extension of harvest request will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the AIP. To receive an extension, you must submit a timely notice of loss and a request. The AIP then determines that the harvest was delayed due to an insured cause and harvest was not possible. Any additional damage to your crop during the extension of harvest period will be covered by crop insurance. The purpose of the extension is to allow additional time for a claim to be settled.
A final inspection will be required at the end of insurance period or end of extension. It is important to get an appraisal on any unharvested acreage. Any acreage destroyed or put to another use before an appraisal is made will result in a yield of zero. The appraisals made on harvestable acreage will be considered production for APH purposes. Any acreage determined unable to be mechanically harvested, will result no production to be counted for the acreage (Note: there are very few instances of zero production). If some of the unharvested acreage was able to be harvested and was not, that acreage will be appraised and counted towards production.
As the difficulties continue, we hope this information will help you with the difficult decisions you have to make. It has been a tough year. If you have any questions or want additional information contact us. We will be happy to help you out and answer any questions you may have.