Mid to Late June Prevented Planting Decisions

Source:Ben Brown, Sarah Noggle, Barry Ward, OSU Extension

Consistent rains across Ohio and the Corn Belt continue to delay planting progress as the June 17 USDA Planting Progress report showed that 68% of intended corn acres and 50% of intended soybean acres have been planted in Ohio. Nationwide, roughly 27 million acres of corn and soybeans will either be planted or filed under prevented planting insurance. Across Ohio, the Final Plant Date (FPD) for soybeans is June 20. Soybeans can be planted after the FPD, but a one percent reduction in the insurance guarantee occurs. This brief article outlines economic considerations for soybean prevented planting under three scenarios: planting soybeans on corn acres, planting soybeans late, and taking prevent plant soybeans. There are three sections to this article: a brief market update on corn and soybeans, a policy update on Market Facilitation Payments, and then finally the scenarios listed above. This article contains the best information available as of release, but conditions may change. Farmers should check with their crop insurance agents when making prevented planting decisions. OSU Extension is not an authorizing body of federal crop insurance policies.

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How to store treated seed

Source: Anne Dorrance,  OSU Extension

Let me say upfront that much of the information in this piece is based on a study published (Crop Science 53:1086-1095 in 2013) by Dr. Susan Goggi’s lab and others at Iowa State University, Dept. of Agronomy & Seed Science Center. As a scientist, we store both untreated and treated seed over years, but it is healthy and it is in cool and always dry conditions.  But this year we have several issues.  The seed raised in 2018, due to the rains through our long drawn out harvest, left a lot to be desired.  Last week, we had one day to plant and now we are making decisions on what to do with the seed we purchased that is treated.  Treated seed cannot enter the market and must be disposed of through planting, incineration, or burial based on the label. All of these are costly.

In a study at Iowa State, they compared 24 different seed lots which were treated with a fungicide, fungicide plus insecticide and not treated under 3 conditions: 1) a warehouse; 2) a climate controlled cold storage (50 F, ~60% RH); or 3) warm storage (77 F, ~31 % RH). The seed itself was high germination (95 to 98% germination), dry (<8%), and there was a very low percentage of seedborne pathogens.

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Governor DeWine Requests USDA Disaster Designation for Ohio Farmers Impacted by Heavy Rainfall

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting a USDA Secretarial disaster designation for Ohio amid heavy rainfall impacting Ohio farmers.

In his letter, Governor DeWine notes that record rainfall through the spring planting season has been devastating to Ohio farmers, with flooding and saturated fields preventing them from planting crops. Only 50 percent of Ohio’s corn crop and 32 percent of Ohio’s soybean crop have been planted as of June 10, 2019.

“The harsh reality for Ohio farmers is that many acres will remain unplanted,” Governor DeWine said. “Our dairy and livestock sectors also face serious forage and feed shortages. We recognize the tremendous challenges facing our agricultural community, and we are working to identify any and all sources of possible relief.”

The letter is a formal request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a USDA disaster declaration for Ohio so that assistance can be made available to Ohio farmers.

“I visited with several farmers this week and saw firsthand the impact of this devastating rainfall. Fields are visibly filled with water and weeds instead of crops,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda.

Excessive rainfall presented challenges as early as last fall. Because of poor field conditions, some 2018 crops are still in the field and yet to be harvested. Currently, producers are dealing with erosion of their cropland, delayed fieldwork and planting, manure application challenges, and concerns among livestock producers that forages will be in short supply.

Farmdoc Webinar on Prevent Plant/Late Planting Decisions

A webinar on prevent planting was conducted on June 12, 2019. Items include:

1. Todd Hubbs provided market outlook: Bullish corn, bearish soybean
2. Jonathan Coppess provided a policy outlook: Still uncertainty on Market Facilitation Program and Disaster Assistence Programs
3. Gary Schnitkey provided farmer decision making: Corn planting is coming to the end, Don’t plant soybeans on corn prevent plant acres, little downside and upside on planting on planting soybeans on intended soybean acres for the next week.

The webinar video is available on our YouTube Channel now (Click Here)

Two more webinars will be conducted on the next two Wednesdays (June 19, June 26) at 8:00 am (Central Time).  Click here to register.

 

Ohio Corn, Soybean and Wheat Enterprise Budgets – Projected Returns for 2019

Source: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management & Director, OSU Income Tax School

Production costs for Ohio field crops are forecast to be largely unchanged from last year with slightly higher fertilizer and interest expenses that may increase total costs for some growers. Variable costs for corn in Ohio for 2019 are projected to range from $356 to $451 per acre depending on land productivity. Variable costs for 2019 Ohio soybeans are projected to range from $210 to $230 per acre. Wheat variable expenses for 2019 are projected to range from $178 to $219 per acre.

Returns will likely be low to negative for many producers depending on price movement throughout the rest of the year. Grain prices used as assumptions in the 2019 crop enterprise budgets are $3.60/bushel for corn, $8.20/bushel for soybeans and $4.25/bushel for wheat. Projected returns above variable costs (contribution margin) range from $150 to $308 per acre for corn and $144 to $300 per acre for soybeans. Projected returns above variable costs for wheat range from $102 to $202 per acre (assuming $4.25 per bushel summer cash price).

Return to Land is a measure calculated to assist in land rental and purchase decision making. The measure is calculated by starting with total receipts or revenue from the crop and subtracting all expenses except the land expense. Returns to Land for Ohio corn (Total receipts minus total costs except land cost) are projected to range from $23 to $182 per acre in 2018 depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for Ohio soybeans are expected to range from $84 to $254 per acre depending on land production capabilities. Returns to land for wheat (not including straw or double-crop returns) are projected to range from negative $2 per acre to a positive $143 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line corn production in Ohio are estimated to be $753 per acre. This includes all variable costs as well as fixed costs (or overhead if you prefer) including machinery, labor, management and land costs. Fixed machinery costs of $66 per acre include depreciation, interest, insurance and housing. A land charge of $187 per acre is based on data from the Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents Survey Summary. Labor and management costs combined are calculated at $69 per acre. Returns Above Total Costs for trend line corn production are negative at -$120 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line soybean production in Ohio are estimated to be $518 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs – $52 per acre, land charge: $187 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $45 per acre.) Returns Above Total Costs for trend line soybean production are also projected to be negative at -$76 per acre.

Total costs projected for trend line wheat production in Ohio are estimated to be $488 per acre. (Fixed machinery costs: $52 per acre, land charge: $187 per acre, labor and management costs combined: $39 per acre.) Returns Above Total Costs for trend line wheat production are also negative at -$137 per acre.

These projections are based on OSU Extension Ohio Crop Enterprise Budgets. Newly updated Enterprise Budgets for 2019 have been completed and posted to the OSU Extension farmoffice website: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-budgets

Prevented Planting, 2019 Market Facilitation Program Payments, Disaster Assistance, and Price Dynamics

Source: Schnitkey, G., C. Zulauf, K. Swanson, R. Batts and J. Coppess, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

We stand at a point of extreme price and policy uncertainty.  In the Midwest, corn planting is historically late and many acres are or soon will be eligible for prevented planting payments on corn crop insurance policies.  On many farms, corn prices have not increased enough to cause net returns from planting corn to exceed net returns from prevented planting.  However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and has currently indicated that payments will be tied to 2019 planted acres.  The 2019 MFP could provide incentives to plant crops and not take prevented planting payments.  Moreover, this program could bring a little used option into play this year:  take 35% of the corn prevented planting payment and plant soybeans after the late planting period for corn.   Adding confusion to this situation is a disaster assistance program working its way through Congress. We provide detail on the 2019 MFP program based upon what is known at this time, and the Congressional disaster assistance bill.  Then, we evaluate farmer options at this point.  Decisions are difficult.  Corn prices have not risen enough to justify planting corn on many farms.  Yet, corn prices could increase if a large number of prevent planting acres occur.

2019 Market Facilitation Program Payments

In a May 23rd press release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) outlined the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP). This program is projected to provide $14.5 billion in direct payments to farmers of specific commodities, $4.9 billion more than the $9.6 billion spent on the 2018 MFP (Schnepf, Monke, Stubbs, and Hopkinson). Important details of this program are:

  • Payments will be based on 2019 planted acres to MFP-covered crops. USDA has initially stated that payments will not be received on prevented planting acres but the final details have yet to be released. By itself, this provision provides incentives to plant crops and not take prevented planting payments.
  • MFP-covered crops in 2019 include corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa hay, barley, canola, crambe, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, mustard seed, dried beans, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, and upland cotton.
  • There will be a single payment rate for a county. That per acre payment rate will be based on total plantings of the MFP-covered crops on the individual farm. Acres planted to an individual crop will not matter other than its contribution to total planted MFP crops on the farm.  As an example, suppose that MFP rate for a county is $50 per acre. A farm with 60 acres in corn and 40 acres in soybeans will have 100 MFP acres and receive $5,000.  The farm will also receive $5,000 if 40 acres are corn and 60 acres are soybeans.
  • Payments acres in 2019 cannot exceed the payment acres on the farm for the 2018 MFP. This restriction is designed to prevent more acres moving into covered crops, particularly from grasslands or lands typically not farmed. It will most likely be made on a Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm basis. A farm that had 80 MFP-acres in 2018 cannot receive payments on more than 80 acres in 2019.  (see, Perdue Provides More Clarity on Tariff Aid).
  • Payments will be made in three tranches, the first in late July/early August after the July 15th planting reporting date with the Farm Service Agency (FSA), November, and early January.  Whether or not the November and early January payments are made will depend on USDA determination on the need for these payments.

Many important questions remain to be answered regarding 2019 MFP payments; the answers to these questions could affect 2019 planting decisions.   The most important question is:  What are the 2019 per acre payment rates?

Click Here To Read The Entire Article

Delayed Soybean Planting – A Yield Perspective

Source:  Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension

Across the state, soybean planting is still on-hold due to continued wet weather. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on recommendations for June-planted soybeans: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-12/recommendations-late-planted-soybeans You can also find recommendations for late-planted soybeans in the Ohio Agronomy Guide available to download as a pdf here: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/soybean-production/ohio-agronomy-guide-15th-edition (click on the picture of the guide to download).

I think June-planted soybeans still have a great deal of yield potential; however, it will depend on how the rest of the year turns out. (Will there be water limitations during pod-setting and seed fill? Will we have an early frost?)

 Figure 1. Effect of soybean planting date on soybean grain yield at the Western Agricultural Research Station (WARS) (Clark County) in 2013 and 2014 and the Northwest Agricultural Research Station (NWARS) (Wood County) in 2014.

In Clark County at the Western Agricultural Research Station (WARS), we have observed a 0.6 bu/acre/day reduction in soybean yield (see Figure 1). Soybeans planted on July 2, 2013 yielded close to 60 bu/acre and soybeans planted on July 1, 2014, yielded close to 50 bu/acre. Interestingly, in Wood County at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station (NWARS) in 2014, yield was just over 50 bu/acre regardless of planting date, which spanned from May 8 to June 18. I’ve summarized some of our other late-planted soybean yield data in the table below.

Planting date County Average yield

(bu/acre)

June 1, 2011 (performance trial) Preble County 64-71
June 1, 2016 (relative maturity trial) Clark County 60
June 3, 2011 (performance trial) Mercer County 57-66
June 4, 2011 (performance trial) Delaware County 43-56
June 4, 2017 (performance trial) Sandusky County 57-58
June 5, 2011 (performance trial) Erie County 59-65
June 6, 2017 (relative maturity trial) Wood County 50
June 6, 2011 (performance trial) Henry County 54-56
June 7, 2011 (performance trial) Fayette County 58-72
June 7, 2011 (performance trial) Mercer County 53-55
June 8, 2017 (relative maturity trial) Clark County 60-65
June 9, 2016 (relative maturity trial) Wayne County 68
June 9, 2017 (relative maturity trial) Wayne County 55
June 13, 2016 (relative maturity trial) Wood County 58-61
June 26, 2018 (double crop trial) Clark County 48
June 29, 2018 (double crop trial) Wayne County 41
June 29, 2017 (double crop trial) Clark County 39-47
July 11, 2016 (double crop trial) Clark County 43

 

 

 

Current Weed Issues II: Revised Herbicide Management Strategies for Late Planting

Source: Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension

We’re running about a month behind in many cases, and with respect to weeds we are a month later than normal in implementing herbicide programs.  The most important thing to know about this is that we are well into the period of summer annual weed emergence, most of which occurs between early May and the end of June, which overall shortens the period of weed control that we need and allows earlier application of POST herbicides.  There are some advantages to this – here’s what it means for those fields just planted or that will still be planted within the next couple weeks:

Because we are this late, the burndown has become a major part of what is usually our in-season herbicide program, and is taking care of a good portion of the summer annuals that residual and POST herbicides would usually control.  The big glaring issue at this time is nasty burndown situations, and we provided some suggestions for this in previous articles.  Lots of pretty yellow fields due to cressleaf groundsel.  Keep in mind that this and other winter annuals that have flowered are ending their life cycles, so they have died or started dieing on their own anyway.  Focus should be more on the large giant ragweed, lambsquarters, marestail, etc that are present.  We are also late enough that waterhemp is part of the burndown mix in come fields.  Don’t skimp.

Herbicide programs do not have to last as long in crops planted late.  When we plant in early May, we need an herbicide program that controls weeds from then until the end of June or so, which is in part why we use residual herbicides and frequently apply POST herbicides 5 to 6 weeks after planting.  Applying the POST too early in a crop planted in early May introduces the risk of poor control of weeds that emerge soon after that application, before the crop is developed enough to control them on its own.  This is much less of an issue with a late-planted crop.  Since summer annual weed emergence tapers off as we move through June, the POST herbicides can be applied much sooner after planting without sacrificing control.  Planting soybeans this late can therefore allow earlier POST applications when weeds are small – more like 3 weeks after planting.  This can help minimize carryover concerns with fomesafen, and also provide a wider window to look for the right conditions to apply dicamba (see below).

In studies of reduced-rate POST applications that we conducted a couple decades ago, planting soybeans in late May or early June allowed us to use earlier POST applications (e.g 21 days after planting) at lower rates and still maintain control.  There were just fewer weeds emerging after planting and the duration of weed emergence after planting was also shorter.  It was not possible to achieve this in early-planted soybeans – we needed either two applications at reduced rate or a later application at full rates for control.

One issue with later POST sprays is the potential for herbicide carryover from products such as mesotrione and fomesafen (Flexstar, etc), among others.  Fomesafen carryover has been rare in the state but risk increases with later applications, especially if rainfall subsequently becomes limiting.  Where glyphosate and fomesafen are being combined in a late POST application to control ragweeds, it may become necessary to replace the fomesafen with lactofen (Cobra/Phoenix) as applications move into July.  Our research indicates that the lactofen products are less effective than fomesafen in this mix by about 10 to 20%.

Another concern would be POST applications of dicamba on Xtend soybeans shifted later into the hotter weather that occurs as we move from June into July.  The consensus of the weed science community is that both of the approved dicamba formulations have potential to move via volatilization, and the risk of this would increase with increasing temperatures and increased frequency and duration of inversions.  The current long-range forecast also indicates a trend for hotter than normal temperatures as we move into mid-summer.  Current labels allow application through 45 days after planting or prior to the R1 stage, whichever occurs first.  For soybeans planted early, the 45-day limit is often the main determinant, but later planted soybeans progress through growth stages more rapidly so the R1 stage may be the more frequent limitation.  Movement of dicamba onto other types of soybeans later in summer also has increased potential to reduce yield, since long-term effects of exposure to dicamba are more severe when soybeans have flowered.  Bottom line here is that there is less weather and time suitable for dicamba application with late-season applications, and movement and injury that does occur can have more substantial impact.  Planting within the next couple weeks and looking for the right conditions to spray starting about June 21 would provide more flexibility with regard to weather and weed size than deciding to wait until about July 10 to spray when it’s hotter and weeds are already large.

Can residual herbicides be omitted in late-planted soybeans?  Maybe.  Reduced weed populations could make this more feasible, but we really hesitate to recommend it.  Omitting residuals is never the right thing to do in fields with a history of weed control problems or high weed populations, or those with waterhemp and Palmer amaranth.  One advantage of omitting residuals would less risk of antagonism with burndown herbicides in mixtures.  Applying certain soybean residuals in June can increase risk of carryover.  The effectiveness of current soybean herbicide-tolerance trait systems makes this more of a possibility, but lack of residuals generally increases risk of problems and selection for resistant weeds, and makes timing of POST herbicides more critical.  The latter point is important because with a compressed season, applicators can be required to cover a lot of acres within a short period of time.  Keeping residuals in the program allows for more flexibility overall.

In late-planted corn, residual herbicides may be effective enough to reduce need for POST herbicides.  Or the residuals could be applied early POST, after the rush to plant is over (keeping rotation guidelines in mind).  Some corn fields are already in this situation, planted without any herbicide applied yet.  The table below shows restrictions on POST use of residual corn herbicides (source – U of Illinois).  This information can also be found in the herbicide descriptions in the Weed Control Guide , and is also summarized in this PSU newsletter article and this table from the MSU weed control guide.  Reminder that use of 28% UAN as a spray carrier is prohibited for POST application of herbicides with the exception of Degree Xtra.

 

 

Corn vs. Soybeans in a Delayed Planting Scenario – Profit Scenarios

Source: Barry Ward, OSU Extension

Wet weather and planting delays throughout much of Ohio and the eastern Cornbelt have many producers thinking about switching corn acres to soybeans or the taking the prevented planting option of their Multiple Peril Crop Insurance policy. Ohio had 9% of intended corn acres planted by May 19th which is far behind the 5 year average of 62%. Farms with pre-plant nitrogen or herbicides applied for corn production may have no option to switch to soybeans. Seed availability may also limit choice for some. Other factors, such as strict adherence to a crop rotation or landlord considerations may limit farmer choice when it comes to switching from corn to soybean plantings in a given year. Farm leases may contain specifications on crop rotations or even what crops may be grown. There may also be unwritten agreements between parties that limit the possibility of growing soybeans in successive years.

Producers that don’t have these limitations may be considering the option of switching acres to soybeans and it will likely come down to expected profit. Field by field budgeting is recommended and with delayed planting the yield expectations change as we move later into the growing season. What will be the likely yields for a given farm for the two crop choices? A recent article, “Delayed Planting Effects on Corn Yield: A “Historical” Perspective” is a good starting point in evaluating potential yield loss due to late corn planting: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-12/delayed-planting-effects-corn-yield-%E2%80%9Chistorical%E2%80%9D-perspective

A recent article highlighting faculty in the College of Food, Agricultural and environmental Sciences always provides valuable insight into the possible yield swings related to late plantings of corn and soybeans: https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/late-start-planting-might-not-hurt-yields-much

Looking at some simple scenarios may get your budgeting process moving for your own fields. These scenarios are based on the 2019 crop enterprise budgets available online at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-budgets

Scenario 1 – Yield prospects remain unchanged, new estimated revenue based on today’s markets:

Corn – 170.2 bu/a & 4.00/bu

Returns Above Variable Costs     $293

Soybeans – 51.5 bu/a & 7.90/bu

Returns Above Variable Costs     $207

Price changes in the last 3 weeks have been favorable to corn and shows some advantage to corn with these assumptions using OSUE Enterprise Budgets.

Scenario 2 – Corn yield 13% lower (per OSU Agronomy Guide, planting date 5-22 through 5-27), soybean yields remain unchanged, new estimated revenue based on today’s markets:

Corn – 148 bu/a & 4.00/bu

Returns Above Variable Costs     $227

Soybeans – 51.5 bu/a & 7.90/bu

Returns Above Variable Costs     $207

The choice becomes closer as we see corn still outperforming soybeans (barely) in Returns Above Variable Costs.

Scenario 3 – Corn yield 13% lower (per OSU Agronomy Guide, planting date 5-22 through 5-27), soybean yields 5% lower, soybean seed costs higher due to higher seeding rate (additional 30,000 seeds per acre planted) for late planted soybeans, new estimated revenue based on today’s markets:

Corn – 148 bu/a & 4.00/bu

Returns Above Variable Costs     $227

Soybeans – 48.9 bu/a & 7.90/bu

Returns Above Variable Costs     $175

This choice again favors corn as the lower soybean yield due to late planting and additional seeding costs make the choice of corn somewhat stronger compared to Scenario 2.

The recent announcements of another round of Market Facilitation Payments and changes to Prevented Planting Coverage due to the pending Disaster Aid Bill may add further complexity to this choice.

As planting is delayed further into June the potential lower yields of both corn and soybeans due to a later planting window will tend to favor soybeans. These simplified scenarios are just examples and farmers should budget for the different yield, price and cost combinations based on their own numbers.

Prevent Plant…What’s That Again?

Source: Eric Richer & Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension Educators

Wet conditions in Ohio and the Eastern Corn Belt has slowed (halted?) planting progress for Ohio producers. According to the May 20th Crop Progress Report by USDA National Ag Statistics Service, Ohio had only 9% corn planted. Surprisingly that was ‘double’ what was planted the week before and well behind the 5-year average of 62% planted. In 2018, Ohio was 69% planted by this report date.

Certainly, the Prevent Plant (PP) crop insurance tool has become a hot topic this year. Many of you have had the chance to attend prevent plant meetings or speak with your crop insurance agent. If not, we will try to briefly summarize your options and strongly suggest you talk to your agent or utilize one of the calculators (see associated “Decision Tools” article by Sam Custer) to determine which option best suits your farm operation.

Your first option is to plant the corn crop by June 5, the final plant date for corn (or June 20 for soybeans). Up until the final plant date, you are eligible for your full guarantee at the level you have selected. For example, 80% coverage x 170 bu/ac APH x $4.00 = $544/acre. If you elect to plant corn after June 5, you will incur a 1% reduction in your guarantee up through June 25, at which time your corn will crop will become uninsurable. For example, if you plant corn on June 8, the guarantee formula (170 APH, 80% coverage) would be: 80% x 170 bu/ac x $4.00 x 97% = $528/acre. Planting dates need to be recorded, as these rules apply on field-by-field and acre-by-acre basis.

Secondly, you can elect to switch your intended corn acres to soybean acres. You will not have the option to file a prevented plant claim (unless you arrive at June 20 unable to plant soybeans). You will be charged for the soybean insurance premium, not the corn premium. The decision tool referenced earlier will be helpful here as this is not an easy decision. June weather (local and regional), supply/demand economics, trade policy and input options increase the complexity.

Your last option is to file for Prevent Plant, assuming you did not get corn planted by June 5. The mechanics of prevented plant deserve a review to ensure understanding. Prevent plant covers Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP) and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Option policies and references the February new crop corn pricing period (aka projected price). The projected price for 2019 corn is $4.00/bu and $9.54/bu for soybeans. A corn policy has a 55% Prevent Plant guarantee (buy-up available to 60%) and soybeans a 60% guarantee (with buy-up available to 65%). In order to further be eligible for Prevent Plant, at least 20 acres or 20% of that unit must not get planted (the lesser of the two). Prevented Plant does not affect your yield history as long as you do not plant a second crop. So a quick example (80% coverage, 170 bu/ac APH) for prevented plant corn would be: 80% x 170 bu/ac x $4.00 x 55% = $299/acre.

To be sure, there are costs besides the premium that are associated with Prevent Plant. Are there ‘restocking fees’ associated with returned seed or other inputs? What are the year-long weed control costs? If utilizing cover crops, what will their cost be? What are my land costs or how do I address my land costs? Do I need to pay labor & management costs even though the land wasn’t ‘farmed’? And finally, are their opportunity costs (marketing) missed because of taking Prevent Plant? We do not have space in this article to address these but they are things to be considering.

The reporting of Prevent Plant acres-should you elect that option-is quite simple. First, the total acres of Prevent Plant corn that you can file in 2019 can be no greater that the greatest number of acres of corn you reported in any of the previous four years (2015-2018). To report Prevent Plant acres, you would first need to turn in a notice (starting June 6) to your insurance agent. Then report your Prevent Plant to USDA Farm Service Agency to get it on your acreage report. Then you will need to work with your adjuster to finalize the claim, which will generally be paid within 30 days.

Prevented planting insurance payments can qualify for a 1 year deferral for inclusion in income tax. You can qualify if you meet the following criteria:

  • You use the cash method of accounting.
  • You receive the crop insurance proceeds in the same tax year the crops are damaged.
  • You can show that under your normal business practice you would have included income from the damaged crops in any tax year following the year the damage occurred.

The third criteria is the sometimes the problem. Most can meet the criteria, although if you want reasonable audit protection, you should have records showing the normal practice of deferring sales of grain produced and harvested in year 1 subsequently stored and sold in the following year.

There are many additional questions that we could address in this article but these are the basic options to guide your thought process…unless Mother Nature just won’t cooperate!