The final crop insurance planting date for the remainder of the Corn Belt passed on June 5. Still, farmers are pushing ahead to get as much corn planted as they can. While the short-term payment on corn could pencil out better than a prevent plant claim, what about the long-term damage to your business? According to Chris Barron, the impact of late-planted, lower yielding corn on a farm’s Average Production History (APH) is something to consider.
“On prevent plant you get a mulligan on your APH; you don't get that if you stay with the standard insurance,” he told AgriTalk Host Chip Flory earlier this week. “Whatever your yield is, it’s going to be factored into your APH as you move forward. Whereas, if you take prevent plant that doesn't factor into that. So you don't have that penalty.”
Still, he says the decision comes down to doing the math on each individual situation and seeing how it pencils out.
“Let's say corn goes to $5.50, and let's say that the year ends up being perfect, you might be better off planting,” notes Barron, director of operations and president of Carson and Barron Farms Inc. in Rowley, Iowa. “Conversely, it could be the other way. You go out there and you mud a third of that field in, and you get a huge yield penalty. All of a sudden, you’re at 130-bushel corn, and this market doesn't have to respond. Then we end up at $4.30, in that range. It's not even close, the prevent plant is way better.”
Barron warns producers there’s subjectivity in the decision even after you run the numbers.
“There's no absolute,” he says. “Each of us in our own farming operations has to make those decisions.”