Topping Up Prevented Planting

USDA, Insurers Increase Prevented Planting Indemnities for Farmers

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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USDA announced increases for indemnities for farmers who have prevented planting claims for 2019. (USDA logo)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Farmers with prevented planting claims on a projected 19.6 million acres will receive a "top-up" payment on their claims from insurance providers starting in mid-October.

USDA announced Thursday that all farmers with 2019 prevented planted claims will receive a bonus payment. Prevented planting indemnities will increase 15% for farmers who bought Revenue Protection policies. Farmers who bought Yield Protection and Revenue Protection policies with the Harvest Price Exclusion will receive a 10% increase in their indemnity payments.

"It was a challenging planting season for many of our farmers," said Bill Northey, USDA's undersecretary for farm production and conservation. "We are doing everything we can to ensure producers receive the help they need."

The top-up payments will be automatically paid to farmers and will not require any additional paperwork to receive the payments.

Northey said USDA is working with crop insurance companies to get the payments to farmers as soon as possible. USDA stated the payments would start going out in mid-October. After the initial payment, additional payments will be made in the middle of each month as more prevented planting claims are processed, USDA stated.

Northey added, "We appreciate the AIPs (Approved Insurance Providers) for helping us help America's farmers."

The higher indemnity payments will come as part of the disaster-aid bill passed by Congress during the summer.

Martin Barbre, administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency, said crop insurance is an important program for many producers to help them manage their production and price risks. "We're leveraging that system to efficiently and effectively deliver much needed support to our farmers," Barbre said.

According to Farm Service Agency numbers, prevented planting reached nearly 19.6 million acres, of which the lion's share included 11.4 million acres nationally for unplanted corn acres and another 4.46 million acres for soybeans.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said USDA's announcement will help farmers without requiring any additional paperwork.

"As weather continues to throw wrenches into farmers' plans, both in western Minnesota and across the country, I appreciate USDA and crop insurance providers moving forward in delivering the prevented planting plus-up that Congress provided," Peterson said.

All 14 AIPs agreed to increase their payments to producers for prevented planting claims. Those companies include: ACE Property and Casualty (Rain and Hail) Insurance Company, American Agri-Business Insurance Company, American Agricultural Insurance Company, CGB Insurance Company, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Country Mutual Insurance Company, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Great American Insurance Company, Hudson Insurance Company, NAU Country Insurance Company, Producers Agricultural Insurance Company, Rural Community Insurance Company, Stratford Insurance Company and XL Reinsurance America Inc.

USDA pointed out that the prevented planting payments are different from direct disaster aid that farmers can receive from the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) payments. For more information on WHIP+, visit https://www.farmers.gov/….

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

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(ES/AG)

Chris Clayton