Hot topics & tips on the ever changing business of farming


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Replant coverage by policy

MPCI

You must exceed the 20/20 rule for MPCI replant coverage to be granted. The rule states that the lesser of  more than 20 acres  or  20% of your unit needs to be replanted before coverage is provided. The corn indemnity payment on replanted acres equals the actual cost to replant up to a limit of 8 bushels. If the projected price of corn was $3.50, the maximum replant coverage would be $3.50 x 8 bushels = $24 per acre.

Crop Hail

Crop Hail Replant Coverage depends on the company and the type of coverage you have selected.

Some companies pay the hail loss and you decide whether to replant. The remaining insurance coverage will be transferred to the replanted crop. Additional coverage can be purchased.

Other companies have to approve replant. Then you have a choice.

Option A: Replant crop and company will pay for your actual replant costs, not to exceed 20% of the limit of insurance per acre. Remaining limit will transfer to replanted crop. If you don’t replant, your loss is paid at 20% the limit of insurance.

Option B: Pay the actual loss sustained. No coverage will be transferred to the new crop. Additional coverage can be purchased.

If you have production plan hail, you don’t have coverage for replant.

Replant Supplement Coverage

Stand alone replant coverage provides coverage on the first acre you replant. Plus, you can select up to a certain amount of coverage, potentially $50-80 per acre. The indemnity payment will be the lesser of the actual cost of replant or the coverage limit elected on the policy.

Example:

Selected Coverage per Acre: $50

Replanted Acres: 10

Actual Cost of Replant: $55

Indemnity Payment: $50 coverage limit x 10 acres = $500

You must insure all acres per crop per county. Therefore, you would need to evaluate if this coverage makes sense for your operation.

 

 

 

 

 

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2016 MPCI Harvest Prices & Yield Triggers

MPCI corn and soybean harvest prices are figured in the month of October. Corn is based on the December corn futures and soybeans use the November soybean futures. Below are the 2016 harvest prices taken from Farmers Mutual Hail’s Price Discovery Tool.

2016 Harvest Prices

Corn $3.49

Soybeans $9.75 Continue reading


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Compare current precip to historical averages on Climate Fieldview’s App

Many farmers like to keep track of precipitation to project yield potential of their crop. I like to compare the current precipitation to historical averages. This helps me put a number the terms “dry”, “wet”, or “adequate”.

As we start the month of July, I wanted to give you an idea of how “dry” our area is. Here are local season to date precipitation compared to the 10 year average. The (-) represents short of the 10 year average.

Garden City -6.5″, Radcliffe -5.7″, Ackley -5.0″, Hubbard -4.7″, Austinville -4.3″, Eldora -3.7″, New Providence -3.4″, Geneva -2.9″, Wellsburg -2.7″, Iowa Falls -2.6″

I used to log on at http://www.climate.com and run a comparison on the past weather tab. It took time to do this on every field and I needed access to a computer.

Now it’s very easy to access this information on your fields. When you log on to the Climate Fieldview App on your smart phone, an Overview screen will appear. Tap on Rainfall.

Screenshot_20160701-150310

It will default to the Last 24 Hours precipitation. To the right, tap on Season to Date. You will then see if precipitation is above or below normal compared to the 10 year average.

Screenshot_20160701-144044

 


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Do farming operations need to carry workers compensation?

Farming operations have typically been run by families. Families are considered exempt from the workers compensation law. Meaning the farm doesn’t have to carry workers compensation on dad, mom, brother, sister, grandma, and grandpa.

If dad hires a neighbor boy to help milk cows, does the farm need to carry workers compensation on the neighbor boy? The answer could be yes or no. A few more questions need to be addressed.

How does the farm pay the neighbor boy?

Maybe the farm chops silage for the neighbor boy in exchange for milking the cows. In this case, workers compensation is not needed since it is exchange labor.

Maybe the farm pays the neighbor boy $20 each time. Workers compensation is recommended, but may not be required. Read on…

How much did the farm pay in payroll last year?

If the farm paid over $2,500 in payroll the previous calendar year, the farm needs to have a workers compensation policy to cover their paid labor.

How much does the farm pay the neighbor boy on an annual basis?

The amount of payroll and the type of work is important when figuring the cost of workers compensation. Different rates will apply for different work. If the neighbor boy helps with livestock, he will be charged a higher rate than if he is completing field work. To manage workers compensation cost, it is best to keep track of payroll by each type of work. If  records aren’t kept, all the payroll will be subject to the highest rate.

What if the farm entity is not family?

Partners and members of limited liability companies can choose to include or exclude themselves from workers compensation. Workers compensation is another cost to the farming operation. But before a decision is made to exclude workers compensation coverage, consider  the benefits of workers compensation. Farm owners/operators are the livelihood of the farming operation.

 

 

 


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The benefits of Workers Compensation

Workers compensation provides medical, income, death, and rehabilitation benefits for a job related injury or illness. The employee gives up the right to sue the employer in exchange for these benefits.

If workers compensation is not provided, the employee has to sue the employer for coverage. The employer has to be found negligent for his liability insurance to pay.

If a farmhand slips when climbing out of a tractor and tears a ligament in his knee, is the farmer negligent? Did the farmer maintain a safe work environment?

These questions are tricky to answer. Many times the employee feels the employer should pay for the injury or illness and the employer wants to provide coverage. Workers compensation coverage is a great answer because the policy will provide coverage regardless of fault. No tricky questions and uncomfortable situations.

More details on workers compensation benefits are provided below.

Unlimited Medical Benefits

If a farmhand slips when climbing out of a tractor and tears a ligament in his knee, workers compensation will pay for medical expenses for doctor visits, exams, and surgery.

Income Benefits

If the farmhand is unable to work for a period of time or is unable to do all work, workers compensation would pay an income benefit. The income benefit is up to 80% of spendable earnings, but cannot be more than 66 2/3% of average weekly earnings subject to maximum and minimum weekly limits.

The farmhand could end up with a total or a partial disability. If the farmhand could not perform any work, this is a total disability. A partial disability would be if the farmhand returns to work and is able to do some work. In this case, the disability income would provide coverage for the % of earnings lost due to a reduced income.

Death Benefits

If a death results from a job related injury or illness, $7,500 of burial allowance is provided to the surviving family member.

Rehabilitation Benefits 

If the farmhand needed physical therapy after surgery, workers compensation would provide coverage. Coverage also extends to any devices needed, such as a wheelchair.


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Climate Fieldview Prime- Accumulated Precipitation

As we approach the 2016 crop season, farmers realize we have had a wet winter and are trying to manage the impact of wet winter soils. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how wet it was compared to normal? Climate Fieldview Prime provides accumulative precipitation on a field level basis. Let’s take a look at a field near Ackley, IA.

Ackley Precip

The accumulated precipitation graph starts on November 1st and ends April 3rd. During this time period, Ackley has gotten 15.42″ of precipitation. The orange line on the graph represents the average rainfall over the last 30 years, 7.33″ of precipitation. We have received more than twice the average precipitation this year.

How to see accumulated precipitation on your fields. 

All fields mapped in Climate Fieldview Prime have this weather information available to view. On a desktop computer, simply click on a field and “View Full Forecast”. Then click on “Past Weather” in the upper right hand corner of the screen. The accumulated precipitation will now appear on your screen. The date range is defaulted to the crop year, but it is easy to customize the date range in the upper left hand corner. To see the 5 year, 15 year, and 30 year average precipitation for the same date range, click on the compare box in the upper right hand corner.

Contact Betsy to set up a free Climate Fieldview Prime Account. Weather data is valuable information to help make in-season management decisions on your farm.

 


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Climate’s Nitrogen Advisor Insights for 2016 Season

Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen Cycle —Mineralization

Mineralization is the process of breaking down organic matter into ammonium. Ammonium is a stable form of nitrogen, because it has a positive charge and attracts to the soil. Nitrification is the process of breaking down ammonium into nitrate. Nitrate has a  negative charge and moves freely with the water in the soil. This makes nitrate less stable in the soil and more susceptible to leaching.  Continue reading