Harvest Risk Management Newsletter
December 14, 2007
Harvest prices for the 2007 crop insurance year for corn and soybeans have been set. For corn, the CRC and GRIP harvest price was set at $3.58. The RA harvest price is set at $3.82. For soybeans, the CRC, RA, and GRIP harvest price was set at $9.75. For your information, the base prices were $4.06 on corn and $8.09 on soybeans.
Possible GRIP Claims?
Based on the harvest prices shown above and the tremendous yields that have been talked about, it seems unlikely that there will be any claims for GRIP policies in our area this year. County yields in our area will have to be below the following levels in order for a 90% GRIP claim to be paid next April.
2007 GRIP Trigger Yields
County (Illinois)Corn Soybeans
2008 Expected County Yields
While we are on the GRIP subject, the expected yields for the 2008 corn and soybean crop year have been released. These yields will be used to determine GRP and GRIP coverages for the upcoming year.
County (Illinois)Corn Soybeans
The corn yields generally represent an increase of between 3.5 to 4.5 bushels over 2007 while the soybean yields are pretty much unchanged. These expected yields are based on a 30-year trend, but they do not incorporate the 2007 crop. This year’s bumper crop will be incorporated into the 2009 expected county yields.
An integral part of crop insurance is the production report. Many of you in recent years have purchased a county policy (GRIP or GRP) and your production history is not required for the federal Risk Management Agency (RMA). We have attempted to keep up to date on your production history in case you would like to switch plans or in the event of the RMA developing new policies that would require your past history. Your Harvest Risk Management agent will be in touch with you in the next few weeks or months to get this information. If you have an individual plan (CRC, RA, APH), claims must be filed with your insurance company within 2 weeks of December 10th, so it is imperative that we get the production report completed in a timely fashion. Please contact us as soon as possible if you feel that you could have a claim.
For those of you who are GRP and GRIP customers, we would also like your production from 2007. If we do not yet have databases started for you, we would like to start them so that we can give you better analysis at decision time in February and March.
You should also know that the Risk Management Agency (the USDA branch that runs the crop insurance program) is considering a change in production report requirements for the future. Currently, the production reports are not technically due to the RMA until April 30. The RMA would like to move the deadline to an earlier date so they can get the production data sooner.
The other change under consideration is to require GRP and GRIP customers to provide production data. Currently, these customers are not required to provide production, but the RMA would like the data to get more accurate area information.
FSA Disaster Program
The FSA offices across the country have $3 billion available to provide to producers for disaster relief covering the last 3 years.
In order to qualify,
- The producer must have grown crops in a county considered a disaster area in 2005, 2006, or 2007.
- The producer must also have carried federal crop insurance (except catastrophic coverage).
- The producer must have had a 35% loss compared to his individual APH’s or the expected county yield (whichever is higher). Since GRIP and GRP producers do not have APH’s, they will have to show a 35% loss compared to the expected county yield.
In our area, the only year in which a federal disaster area was declared was 2005. If a producer does qualify, there is a formula in which the FSA office will follow to determine the exact amount due (some producers will be subject limits).
If you are not sure if you qualify for this disaster program, your Harvest Risk Management agent may be able to help you.
Please stop by and see us at the Northern Illinois Farm Show in Dekalb, on January 9th or 10th. The Show is at the NIU Convocation Center on the west side of town on Rt 38. We will again have a booth set up to visit with everyone.
RMA Approves Biotech Yield Endorsement for 2008
The Risk Management Agency (crop insurance arm of the USDA) announced on December 13 that the Biotech Yield Endorsement (BYE) will indeed be available for the 2008 crop insurance season in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota.
This endorsement will provide producers with a premium discount if they plant non-irrigated corn containing the Monsanto triple-stack genetics. Over 250 companies currently license Monsanto’s triple-stack technology. Monsanto announced the BYE approval by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation back in September. However, the RMA was not sure if it could implement the product for the 2008 crop year until last week.
Specific details of the endorsement are not yet released to approved insurance providers, but producers will likely be able to apply the discount to any unit that they plant at least 75% of the corn acres with the triple-stack seed. The size of the discount depends on the plan of insurance selected and the coverage level selected. For example, a 75% APH policy will be eligible for a discount of about 20%. The discount on revenue polices like CRC and RA, however, will be less because it only applies to the yield portion of the policy. The RMA is estimating that the combined discount in the pilot states will average 13%. Please note that this discount will not be available for GRP or GRIP policies.
If you are interested in the eligibility criteria and instructions, please give your Harvest Risk Management agent a call and we will walk through them with you as soon as they are released.
Your Harvest Risk Management agent can arrange for your farms to be digitally mapped at no cost to you. Maps can be used in many ways to streamline your record keeping and to simplify your acreage and production reporting. We as agents like to use them for a host of reasons; but most importantly it aids in familiarizing ourselves with your farms and locations. It also helps with managing your production history. Your yields and acres can be recorded right on the maps and can easily be retrieved in the future. Please let your agent know if you would like to learn more about this free service!
Rapid Test for Global Fungal Threat
Rusts are fungal disease agents that threaten just about every plant or crop in the world. The science of detecting rusts became a bit more precise this year, thanks to Agricultural Research Service scientists who developed a wheat rust species detection kit that relies on a form of rapid DNA testing.
Geneticist Les Szabo, plant pathologist Charles Barnes and lab technician Kim Nguyen developed the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to identify the species that do the most damage to wheat: stem rust, stripe rust and two species of leaf rust. The test identifies species by detecting specific DNA sequences in fungal genes. The scientists work at the ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn.
Extra funding from the U.S. Department of Defense--along with many years of previous research on rust taxonomy, including creation of an extensive database of DNA sequences--enabled Szabo to develop the test in just one year.
Diagnostic labs will likely use the test to analyze rust samples from around the world.
Plans for future tests include all the important rusts affecting other major cereal grain crops, including barley, rye and oats.
Once the scientists develop kits to more accurately identify individual rust species, they will devise additional tests to identify subspecies and genetic lineages. This will allow labs to track the movement of rusts worldwide and to immediately recognize types of these rust fungi that might be new to this country.
Knowing the subspecies and lineages will also alert scientists to which crops and varieties are at risk. This information will be useful to farmers, and it will give scientists an early start on breeding resistant varieties and developing new controls.
The work is expected to lead to the discovery of new species of rust fungi, adding to the 7,000 known rust species in the world.
More information about ARS rust detection research can be found in the current issue of Agricultural Research magazine. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.