Take a look at the fields in the area and you’ll notice that farmers are behind schedule. In a normal year, most farmers would have most, if not all, of their crops planted. Planting is running behind normal with the extremely wet winter and spring.
Many fields are saturated, have pockets of standing water or are entirely flooded due to all the precipitation. According to an article released in Agweek on Monday, spring wheat planting in South Dakota has been running well behind normal and as of May 5 was at 19% compared to the 76% average and Minnesota was at 7%, verses the 51% normal pace.
As of May 12, 30% of the U.S. corn crop is in the ground. That compares to a five-year average of 66% by mid-May. For soybeans, 9% has been planted, which is significantly behind the five-year average of 29%.
Some of those small grain acres will most likely be shifted to corn or other crops, depending on how late the planting season goes on. Some fields may not get planted at all. My family still doesn’t have anything planted, however I have heard of a few people here and there in certain fields that have been able to do some planting.
The current dire crop planting situation has producers like my family wondering if we’ll be able to get anything planted and what our options are.
People like my family have began discussing their prevented planting plans. Prevented planting (PP) is a failure to plant the insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy’s special provisions or during the late planting period, if applicable.
Prevented Planting must be due to an insurable cause of loss general to the area that also prevents others in the area from planting. Final planting dates and late planting periods vary by crop and by area. Here in Southern Minnesota, our final corn planting date is May 31 and our final soybean planting date is June 10.
Since we’re in the middle of May, area farmers are running out of time to get their crops in by the crop insurance final planting date.
Currently, spring insurance prices are $4.00 for corn and $9.54 for soybeans. Futures prices are looking bearish. Considering those factors, prevent plant premiums could be higher than profits from actually producing a crop for some producers.
There are different scenarios that farmers can work out such as
•Submitting a prevented planting claim;
•Not submitting a prevented planting claim and plant a second insurable crop before the late planting period;
•Submitting a prevented planting claim and plant a second insurance crop after the late-planting period; or
•Plant the original crop during the late planting period.
Every situation will be different for every farmer because every piece of land has different soil, elevation and water levels.
The financial situation for every farm will also be a factor. For livestock producers that also grow their own crops, many are thinking about how they’re going to feed their animals without the yearly crop they depend on.
The best thing farmers can do is to be in communication with their crop insurance agents. It also never hurts to pray for dry, warm weather so hopefully some crops can get planted this year.