As spring planting season arrives, Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor is urging Ohio farmers to consider the available financial protections against agricultural losses as an important insurance deadline approaches.
“Crop insurance is an important risk-management tool available to Ohio’s farmers,” Taylor, who also serves as Director of the Department of Insurance, said. “I encourage farmers to carefully review your insurance needs to ensure you have the right coverage to protect your business.”
The final date to purchase or modify crop insurance coverage on most insurable spring-planted crops is March 15, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA).
Crop insurance is divided into two categories, the federally-subsidized and reinsurance-backed multiple-peril crop insurance and state-regulated crop/hail insurance. Multiple-peril crop insurance provides extensive coverage for losses from weather, to pests, and loss of revenue. It must be purchased before planting begins and companies selling have to be licensed by the RMA. Crop/hail insurance is typically limited to losses due to hail and/or fire. This coverage can be purchased at any time during the growing season.
Policies are issued by private insurance companies and sold by licensed agents, who can explain recent crop insurance changes. For example, the 2014 federal farm bill expanded available protection against losses due to natural disasters and price declines and added compliance requirements.
Unlike other types of insurance, crop insurance is dependent on established dates. These dates are determined by the RMA ahead of the planting season and are published on its website at www.rma.usda.gov. Dates vary by crop and by county.
The following are brief definitions of important dates farmers should expect to meet:
• Sales Closing Date: All crop insurance applications for the designated county and crop are due by this date.
• Final Planting Date: Crop must be planted by this date; a penalty is placed on the amount of coverage for each day late.
• Acreage Reporting Date: Acreage report includes a list of crops planted, number of acres planted (each crop), and share of crop (if ownership is shared).
• End of Insurance Date: Crop is no longer covered after this date; losses must be reported before this date.
• Termination Date: This is when a policy premium must be paid.
Farmers can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 800-686-1526 for assistance in determining if an insurance company and/or insurance agent are licensed to write crop insurance in Ohio. You can also visit the Department’s website at www.insurance.ohio.gov to review the agent/agency locator tool.
For more information about crop insurance policy options, a list of definitions, coverages and specific policy dates, visit the RMA website at www.rma.usda.gov.