As you make plans for this year’s growing season, you may also be making decisions on which path to follow when it comes to your crop insurance.
“The crop insurance program is the only thing that a farmer can buy that guarantees revenue and that’s very important now more than ever,” says Chad Cooper, who is an Insurance Officer with the Bloomington and Washington offices at Farm Credit Mid-America.
He says there’s something that you may want to consider when choosing between Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
“During the past several years, it’s been very advantageous for farmers to buy the supplemental coverage option (SCO)—that’s an area plan that fits on top of an individual insurance policy. In order to get that SCO, farmers had to elect the PLC program at the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) office. Prices during the last several years on the ARC and PLC programs have been so low to the point where they were out of the money, so to speak, so the SCO was very appealing.”
However, Cooper says that has potentially changed this year.
“Reference prices have increased and that could put the ARC program in the money quicker than a PLC or an SCO would,” according to Cooper. “Be sure to talk to your agent because it may make sense this year to elect the ARC program. It’s going to be on an individual basis, but the last thing we would want to do is to not be prepared and have the FSA office call in and ask the farmer what they want to elect this year and they say, ‘Keep it the same as it was last year,’ because that might not be the best fit this year.”
Cooper also shares a recommendation for your crop insurance coverage this year.
“This last growing season, we saw wind and hail in areas that traditionally don’t get wind and hail. There are many options out there to bundle these products up with some supplemental coverages and a lot of times, there are big discounts if you bundle those items up,” he says.
“As we see more and more farmers electing to go to an enterprise unit structure, sometimes we can be exposed to those isolated wind and hail events, so look into what it might be for your operation to buy up on those types of coverages,” says Cooper.
Click below to hear the full conversation with Chad Cooper from Farm Credit Mid-America, as he offers several additional recommendations for Hoosier farmers to consider when making their crop insurances decisions for 2024.