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Flooded fields mean crop losses for farmers

Farmers in southeast South Dakota received more than enough rain during the month of June and too much in the last two weeks of the month for many producers.

Many farmers in southeast South Dakota and northwest Iowa will be following up on their crop insurance coverage.

Tyler Urban, Tea area farmer and crop insurance specialist with First Crop Solutions, a Division of First National Bank, said farmers make their crop insurance coverage selections in the spring. Their decisions will depend on each individual’s specific risk bearing needs.

“When it comes to crop insurance, there’s no one answer that fits all,” he said. “Each specific farming operation has their own risk bearing needs.”

Urban explains farmers can pick from multiple levels of coverage that ranges as low as 50 percent up to 85 percent protection. Most South Dakota farmers fit into the 70-80 percent range.

The coverage is for whatever percent they choose, like 75 percent, of their actual production history for the last 10 years. He said most producers buy revenue production policies, while few purchase yield protection policies.

Flood damage coverage is no different than other weather events like drought or hail. The policies are multi-peril so they cover many different weather problems.

With too much rain coming this late in the season, producers do not have enough time to plant another round of corn or soybeans to be ready for harvest.

“All the acres now that are underwater and have been flooded out, this is kind of an anomaly to have something this late in the year. If we would’ve had a 7-inch rain over Memorial Day weekend and crops would’ve been planted, you would be able to go back in and have a replant claim and you go back in and plant the soybeans or corn,” he said.

That much rain this late in the season will not allow producers to replant corn or soybeans, but they may be able to plant a cover crop.

“Farmers that have had crops flooded out by recent rains have a few options. The most common this late in the year is to either wait until harvest and see what potential indemnity could be there based on elected unit structure,” Urban said. “If the crop has been flooded out completely and will have zero production, an adjuster can allow those acres to be planted to a cover crop to control weeds and help with soil health. However, any cover crop and not be hayed or grazed until after Nov. 1.”

Claim payments do not get paid out until the fall of the year. Urban said producers should check with their crop insurance agent for details on their individual policy.

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