Crop Insurer Previews Claim Numbers

A crop insurance specialist expects claim numbers to be slightly higher this year. This is because of the drought and severe storms that Wisconsin experienced over the growing season.

Jenny Brown, multi-peril specialist with Rural Mutual Insurance, oversees acres across the state with a special focus on eastern Wisconsin. While signs point to claims being higher this year, she says it’s still a little early to say for sure.

“We’ve started opening maybe a little bit more on the claim side just to be safe,” she says. “You can always open a claim and then close it. It’s better to be on the safe side and have that open. We’re opening a few more than we usually do.”

Whether you need the feed or you’re concerned about crop condition, she says a lot of her clients are wondering if they should harvest corn for silage or for grain. She says crop insurance can influence that decision.

Brown tells Mid-West Farm Report: “If a corn variety can make grain, and they’re intending it to be grain, we’re going to insure that as grain. And if they end up taking it for silage, an adjuster will go out there and appraise the grain value. They can still harvest it; get the tonnage off of that. But if there is a deficiency in that grain, they’re going to be compensated on the grain side because they’re still going to need to go out and purchase a starch to be in that ration.”

She says growers had to make a lot of tough decisions early on in the season, such as replanting. Farmers are starting to see the results in the corn and soybean fields now. 

“In our area, a lot of people held off and didn’t replant and just waited. Once we got a little shot of moisture, it finally started to come up. Some people did have to replant just because that plant, it came up, and then there was just no moisture and it completely died,” Brown explains. “With the emergence issues, we’re starting to see other issues, especially soybeans, where guys went out, replanted, and some of the initial beans came up, some of those replanted beans came up, and now there’s a little bit more dense population out there leading to some white mold issues.”

She also anticipates more growers will sign up for crop insurance this spring. She reminds farmers to keep their insurance agent in the loop when making harvest decisions.