With the 2011 planting season all but wrapped up, large areas of North Dakota remain wet and likely will be prevented planted acres for crop insurance purposes.
"Producers need to notify their crop insurance provider within three days of the time they decide to stop planting and file a prevented planted claim," says Dwight Aakre, North Dakota State University Extension Service farm management specialist. "The insurance company will make a determination as to the eligibility of the identified acreage for prevented planting coverage."
Producers have a number of options in handling prevented planted acres for the remainder of the year:
* They may leave the land idle. The land may be chemical fallow or black fallow.
If the acreage is highly erodible land, there must be adequate cover to prevent erosion. The producer would be eligible for the full prevent plant payment. In most cases, this payment equals 60 percent of the insurance guarantee.
Policyholders had the option to purchase prevented plant buy-up coverage to 65 or 70 percent prior to the sales closing date, which was March 15. This option will not affect a producer's actual production history (APH) in future years.
* A producer may plant a cover crop within the late-planting period. With this option, the producer is eligible for the full prevented planted payment and there will be no impact on the APH for that farm unit as long as the cover crop is not hayed or grazed before Nov. 1. Haying or grazing of the cover crop after Nov. 1 is permitted.
* Another option is to plant a cover crop after the late-planting period and utilize it for haying or grazing prior to Nov. 1. However, this option results in a 65 percent reduction in the prevented planted indemnity payment. Planting a cover crop for haying or grazing is considered a second crop. The late-planting period is 25 days after the final planting date for most crops. For canola and dry peas, the late-planting period is 15 days after the final planting date.
Producers need to check this date carefully because the final planting date varies by crop and by county. For example, the final planting date for wheat is May 31 for 34 counties in North Dakota and June 5 for the remaining 19 counties.
There are four final planting dates for canola and dry peas depending on the county, but only one for flax and soybeans. Also, this option will affect the APH on that unit in the future because the yield used for 2011 will be 60 percent of the producer's APH. The combination of a reduction in your APH and the loss of 65 percent of the prevented planted payment makes this a costly option. The value of the cover crop for hay or grazing must offset this loss.