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How to Establish Crop Production History for Crop Insurance

By Fay Benson

gran-crop-head-blue-sky

Image courtesy of Fay Benson

As the government moves away from disaster payments and programs, New York farmers are increasing their reliance on crop insurance to take some of the risk out of their cropping enterprises. During the period between 2007 and 2017, liabilities covered by New York farmers increased by 46% according to the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) Summary of Business Records.

In order for farmers to take advantage of crop insurance, certain records are necessary. To determine insurance coverage, all insurance policies have three main components:

  1. Number of units protected: Acres, Bushels, Tons, etc.
  2. Guaranteed price per unit
  3. Actual Production History (APH) for the crop on your farm

Once these are established a “guaranteed” amount of coverage is determined. The most time consuming record required is the APH, because in order to determine the APH database, a farm needs four years of yield records for that crop on their farm.

Without the four years of acceptable records farmers can still participate with crop insurance, but they will have to use their county’s average yields for their production history. County average yields are almost always lower than a farmer’s actual production. For each year the farmer creates an acceptable record of production, they can replace a year of the county average. RMA uses the term T-Yields for county averages. Your county’s T-Yields can be found by using the Cost Estimator tool on RMA’s website.

Acceptable Third-Party Sales and/or Commercial Storage Records

For all crops, acceptable third-party sales and/or commercial storage records must contain the following: Name and address of the buyer or the commercial storage facility, insured’s name, load or ticket number, crop, gross weight, tare weight, date weighed, and unit and/or field identification from which the production was harvested.

Production Harvested and Stored on the Farm

The producer/farmer (insured) is responsible for providing separate records of production for each unit that is stored and notifying the insurance company for measurement when production from another unit, crop year, or uninsured acreage is to be added to existing production in a single storage structure.

For weights, acceptable scale types are non-portable on-farm scales, commercial elevator scales, or grain carts. Each ticket must provide at least the insured’s name, crop, the gross weight, tare, date weighed, load number, identification and location of farm-storage structure in which the load(s) from each field are stored. The insured must hand-write any of the required information listed if the scale being used is not capable of printing a ticket or the required information.

To help with this last record keeping option, contact your Cornell Cooperative Extension Office for a free “New York Crop Insurance Education Program” – Crop Production Record Book.

For More Information

Fay Benson is an extension specialist with Cornell University’s South Central NY Regional Team, and can be reached at afb3@cornell.edu.

This blog post originally appeared on the South Central NY Dairy & Field Crops Team blog. Cornell University delivers crop insurance education in New York State in partnership with the USDA, Risk Management Agency. This material is funded in partnership by USDA, Risk Management Agency, under award number RM18RMETS524C018.

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