Producers Urged to Contact Agents for Delayed Harvest

By: 
Holli Seehafer
  The row crop harvest is continuing in Grant County and across the state but is lagging behind the average for completion. 
According to numbers released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), South Dakota’s ag producers have harvested only 14 percent of the mature field corn for grain. That number is well behind 39 percent at this time last year and the average of 46 percent on average for October 27. 
    In Grant County, the ag producers have only harvested 10 percent of the corn for grain, according to Joel Foster, executive director of the Grant County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
    Foster added that the soybean harvest is farther along than the corn harvest, with an estimated 60 percent of the soybeans having been combined. “Normally, we’d be done with the beans by now,” he said. This statistic is in-step with the statewide completion reported at 58 percent, according to the NASS, which trails last year’s harvest at this point at 73 percent and the overall average of 90 percent. 
    “Yes, people are way behind,” Foster explained. “It’s muddy; the headers don’t slide, and equipment sinks. Harvest is difficult, but for the most part, on what they are getting, they are happy with the yields.” He predicted that the low-lying areas that remain to be harvested probably won’t yield as well. 
    Foster anticipates that, given enough days of good harvest weather, the producers will get all the soybeans, but if the area gets snow, it will be a different story. “Snow will collapse the beans, and they will just have to leave them,” he explained. 
    In response to the late harvest and low percentage of completion in both soybeans and corn, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued information urging producers who currently participate in federal crop insurance and are experiencing a delay in harvesting their crop to contact their Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) to file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest.
    In addition to South Dakota, producers in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, have been affected by extremely wet and snowy conditions early this fall.
    “Farmers are having a hard time with weather this year, and this early fall snow is just another example of this year’s weather challenges,” said Martin Barbre, administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). “Impacted producers covered by federal crop insurance should contact their insurance agent as soon as possible to determine what actions they can take.”
    Producers must file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest before the end of the insurance period, so that federal crop insurance claims are settled based on the amount of harvested production. The end of the insurance period for crops such as spring-planted wheat and barley is October 31, and for corn and soybeans is December 10.
AIPs may allow additional time to harvest, on a case-by-case basis, when all of these conditions are met:
    • The producer gives timely notice of loss to his or her crop insurance agent.
    • The AIP determines and documents that the delay in harvest was due to an insured cause of loss.
    • The producer demonstrates that harvest was not possible due to insured causes, such as wet conditions preventing access to the field with equipment or that harvesting under such conditions would damage equipment.
    • The delay in harvest was not because the producer did not have sufficient equipment or manpower to harvest the crop by the end of the insurance period.
    When an AIP authorizes additional time to harvest:
    • The end of the insurance period is not extended. Rather, the producer is granted additional time to attempt to harvest the crop to settle any loss based on harvested production.
    • Any additional damage to the insured crop during the extension period is covered, provided it is due to an insurable cause of loss like excessive moisture.
    • The producer’s crop insurance policy will cover loss of quality (as specified in the crop provisions), reduced yields, and revenue losses if revenue coverage was chosen.
    • The cost of drying the harvested crop is not covered.
    More information on requesting assistance due to delayed harvest is available on RMA’s website. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.
 

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