Author

Eric Sorensen, FBN Director of Crop Insurance

Eric Sorensen, FBN Director of Crop Insurance

As the Director of Crop Insurance at FBN, Eric Sorensen brings more than 20 years of exclusive, full-time crop insurance experience. He spent 5 years in marketing and training at a major crop insurance company and 16 years in sales leadership at a large agency. Eric pairs up the data analytics prowess of FBN with a veteran team of seasoned crop insurance professionals to help farmers become more profitable.


Across the country, farmers have experienced weather events this year that have made planting a bit of a gamble. With everything from late snowfalls to repeated soaking rains, it’s been difficult for many of you to get your crop in the ground during your ideal planting window. These events and delays make it even more important that you understand the basics of replants, delayed planting and prevented planting in the crop insurance coverage you’ve purchased. Know what options are available to you through crop insurance When you’re looking at a less than ideal planting season, it’s important to understand what’s available to help you recover losses. Here’s a quick rundown: Replant Replant coverage applies when there is existing damage to the planted crop, and you plan to replant the same crop on the same acreage. This coverage allows for reimbursement of the costs of that replant. To qualify: File a notice of loss within 72 hours of the cause of loss Contact your agent before replanting, replant after approval from loss adjuster Acreage must be (at minimum) the lesser of 20 acres or 20% of the crop unit acres Acreage must not have been planted prior to the Initial Plant Date Delayed planting Sometimes called “late planting,” this coverage feature applies when you plant an insurable crop after the crop’s Final Planting Date (FPD). In this window, insurance coverage drops 1% per day for acres planted through the duration of the Late Planting Period (LPP). To qualify: Plant during the LPP (typically 25 days or less after the FPD, but be sure to check with your agent.) Prevented planting Prevented planting applies when you are unable to get the seed in the ground with the proper equipment by the FPD, or within the LPP. This is due to an insured cause of loss (usually a weather event/ events) that is general to the surrounding area, and prevents other farmers in your same area from planting acreage with similar characteristics. This coverage allows for a payment of a percentage of expected revenue. To qualify: File a notice of loss within 72 hours after the FPD, or as late as 72 hours after the LPP Acres must by physically available for planting Acreage must be at a minimum 20 acres or 20% of the insured crop acres by unit Acreage planted in at least 1 of the last 4 most recent crop years File intended acres for each crop by Sales Closing Date for acreage in a new county Webinar on Replant, Delayed Plant, and Prevent Plant 101: What You Need To Know If you have to use one of these options above, here are some best practices to ensure that you get the most out of your coverage 1. Communicate with Your agent If you are concerned that you may need to take advantage of one of these options, make sure to stay in touch with your agent regarding your plan of action. Taking steps, such as replanting, without letting your agent know could lead to confusion, or potentially, you assuming you have certain coverage that you do not actually have 2. Know your dates To understand how your coverage can work for you, make sure you have these dates in mind. Initial Plant Date (IPD): This is the earliest point that a crop can be planted and retain its replant coverage. Final Plant Date (FPD): This is the final date a crop can be planted and still retain it’s full insurance coverage. Late Planting Period (LPP): This is a period of time beyond the FPD during which a crop can be planted and still retain some percentage of its coverage. 3. Attempt to plant Farmers are expected to attempt to plant fields that can be reasonably planted through the Final Planting Date for your crop and county. This is especially important in regards to prevented planting coverage. 4. Keep detailed records To ensure that you are properly covered when you need it, make sure you keep detailed records. Precision records are best, but the most important thing to have are all of the little details, such as date, time, input receipts, FSA 578 certification, maps, etc. Take control of your risk and gain greater peace of mind Your   Crop Insurance agent can tailor a policy to meet the specific needs of your operation with a variety of coverages and endorsements. Run the numbers with an expert crop insurance agent today. Call  877-204-4645  or click to  learn more .


For many producers, this has been an extremely wet year and has caused issues with planting. Watch the webinar below to learn how to make the most of your crop insurance coverage when planting takes an unexpected turn. What we cover Existing damage to planted crop and planning to put new seed in the ground Planted an insurable crop after the final planting date Unable to get seed in the ground by the final planting date or late planting period Watch now Read on to learn more about our options in this blog post about replanting, delayed planting and prevented planting . Take control of your risk and gain greater peace of mind Your   Crop Insurance agent can tailor a policy to meet the specific needs of your operation with a variety of coverages and endorsements. Run the numbers with an expert crop insurance agent today. Call  877-204-4645  or click to  learn more .


Find relief when you need it most. Here is a list of farm and agriculture aid programs and resources for when you need assistance. USDA announces emergency relief program details ERP summary USDA recently announced the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for producers whose crops, trees, bushes or vines were affected by qualifying natural disasters that occurred in either the 2020 or 2021 calendar year. The previous name of this program named Wildfire, Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP+) caused confusion to some who thought the program covered only damage caused by hurricane or wildfire. What are the eligibility requirements?  ERP covers losses to crops, trees, bushes and vines due to a qualifying natural disaster event that occurred in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible crops include all crops for which federal crop insurance or NAP coverage was available and a crop insurance indemnity or NAP payment was received, except for crops intended for grazing. Qualifying natural disaster events include wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), smoke exposure, excessive moisture, qualifying drought and related conditions.  How does it pay? ERP will work generally like WHIP+ with the exception of using net MPCI indemnity subtracted from your ERP loss payment amount. Is ERP different from WHIP+? ERP is very similar to WHIP+, but has been improved by incorporating the Harvest Price Option when the underlying crop insurance included it. Another significant improvement is that any MPCI losses subtracted from the ERP payment calculation are net of the MPCI premium cost. RMA will participate this time in the payment calculations for the majority of payments by leveraging crop insurance coverage and loss data. When do I need to act? Pre-filled applications for ERP Phase 1 are expected to be mailed directly to producers in late May 2022. FSA will continue accepting applications until the deadline is announced at a future date.  When are payments expected to be made? The ERP payment will be processed after all eligibility forms have been received and the FSA representative has signed and certified the payment. Why are there two phases of ERP? Phase 1 uses a streamlined approach of shared data between RMA and FSA and is intended to pay producers for deeper losses experienced as a result of the perils covered under the program.  Phase 2 includes all eligible producers that experienced an eligible loss that did not receive a payment under Phase 1. This includes shallow losses, uninsured crops, and quality losses not accounted for in Phase 1. Additionally, for 2021, any payments made for area plans of coverage such as Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Margin Protection Plan, (MP) or Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) will be included in Phase 2. How do I enroll?  FSA will send pre-filled application forms to producers who received a crop insurance indemnity or NAP payment for one or both of the program years. Applications can be accepted by fax, email, or submitted in person to an FSA County Office.  Producers must also have the following forms on file with FSA within a subsequently announced deadline as determined by the Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs: Form AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet Form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan for an individual or legal entity Form CCC-901, Member Information for Legal Entities (if applicable) A highly erodible land conservation (sometimes referred to as HELC) and wetland conservation certification (Form AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification) for the ERP producer and applicable affiliates. Form FSA-510, Request for an Exception to the $125,000 Payment Limitation for Certain Programs. Form CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification, for the applicable program year. If you did not collect a crop insurance or NAP indemnity, but otherwise believe you qualify, you may apply for a payment during Phase 2. How much will I expect to receive? The payment structure is similar to the WHIP+ formula with some improvements. to reach one of our agents who can calculate an estimated ERP payment should you qualify. A payment factor prorates the initial payment to 75% of ERP payments for those crops covered by crop insurance. Crops covered by NAP are not subject to proration as they are smaller in nature and primarily cover specialty crops on small acreages. Are there any payment limitations? Yes. If at least 75% of the person or legal entity’s average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities the payment limitation will be $900,000 for each program year for specialty crops and $250,000 per program year for all other crops. If at least 75% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is not derived from farming the payment limitation will be $125,000 per program year for specialty crops and $125,000 per program year for all other crops. To request the increased payment limitation a producer needs to file form FSA-510 and a certification from a licensed CPA or attorney. Are there any requirements to purchase crop insurance if I receive an ERP payment? Yes, any applicant that receives an ERP payment must agree to purchase crop insurance or NAP, as applicable, for the next 2 available crop years, as determined by the Secretary. Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs were authorized by the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) reauthorized the ARC and PLC programs with modifications for the 2019 through 2023 crop years. Both programs are administered by the USDA-FSA. ARC-CO program provides income support tied to historical base acres, not current production, of covered commodities.PLC program payments are issued when the effective price of a covered commodity is less than the respective reference price for that commodity. FSA Program Yield Update Owners will have a one-time opportunity in 2020 to update PLC yields of covered commodity base crops on their farm, regardless of program election. The updated yield will be equal to 90% of the producer’s average yield per planted acre in crop years 2013-2017, subject to the ratio obtained by dividing the 2008-2012 average national yield by the 2013-2017 average national yield for the covered commodity. If the reported yield in any year is less than 75% of the 2013-2017 average county yield, then the yield will be substituted with 75% of the county average yield. Administered by:  Learn more to learn more about crop insurance from FBN.


Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) insurance can offer you coverage against the effects of drought on acres used for grazing and/or hayland on your farm operation. In this recorded webinar, Director of Crop Insurance Eric Sorenson provides an overview of PRF insurance. What you'll learn When and under what circumstances should you consider purchasing PRF insurance? How does a PRF insurance policy pay out should you file a claim? Watch now


The beginning prices for 2020 futures for corn, soybeans and even spring wheat are looking good—especially compared to current prices. With the ever-present possibility of rising input costs, and the possibility of increased acres impacting the market as well, wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to protect your margins? Within the FBN insurance portfolio, farmers have the opportunity to purchase . MP gives producers the opportunity to lock in a 2020 margin guarantee not tied to actual grain sales or input purchases. —the difference between your expected revenue and expected costs. In certain areas, it is available for corn, soybeans, spring wheat and rice.  MP is a great choice for farmers whose yields are consistently in line with county yields, and who would like a county-based policy without having to give up their preventive plant or replant coverage. Since MP is well subsidized at the highest levels of coverage, it is also a good choice for those who are interested in 95 percent coverage level.  Each year the number of MP policies written increases, as producers see the benefits of higher coverage levels. We anticipate some large indemnities to be paid in 2019 due to both yield losses and price decreases. With MP, the crop yields are based on county data, crop prices are based on futures markets and input costs are based on regional prices. The policy also takes into account a variety of factors, including changes in crop prices, reductions of yields and changes in the prices of inputs used to grow the crop. MP uses the same harvest prices as Revenue Protection (RP), but bases its 2020 expected county yields on historical RMA data for the county. In the past, this was based on NASS data. Coverage levels can range from 70-95 percent. Farmers also have the option to choose between MP and MP with the Harvest Price Option (HPO). The HPO provides protection on loss at the higher of the price projected before planting or the price at harvest. Farmers can also choose to buy a base policy—such as Revenue Protection or Yield Protection—and get a credit on the MP premium, allowing them to receive protection from the greater of losses. By the sales closing date, you make the decision of whether to choose MP or MP with HPO. You also have to select your coverage Level and Protection Factor. It is also important to note that the MP policy and base policy must be written (or transferred) with the same company at the time the MP policy is purchased. MP doesn’t measure growers’ costs. Assumptions are made based on regional agronomic conditions to establish the quantity of key inputs. These are based on the Expected County Yield and the volume of an input needed to grow a bushel. So what are your expected costs? These can include , such as fuel, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and interest; alongside , such as seed, machinery and other operating costs. Here’s an example of how this works: There are some restrictions on MP. It cannot be coupled with catastrophic (CAT) or other area-based coverage, and MP acres cannot be high risk acres excluded from a CAT policy. MP also cannot be used on acres covered by a High Risk Alternate Coverage (HRACE) base policy. Also, there is no Prevented Planting or Replanting coverage with MP, but it can be supplemented through another base policy that includes it. It is also important to note that payments are made in the spring of the following year after county yields are released, so cash flow would need to be managed to account for this. However, adding an RP base policy would allow for that part of an overall indemnity to be paid once the individual loss is calculated. Margin Protection for 2020 crop year must be purchased by for corn, soybeans and spring wheat. Check with your agent for area-specific dates and details for rice. Want to know more? Check out this 30-minute Margin Protection webinar to better determine if MP is the right option for your farm operation. Interested in a second opinion on your policy? to learn more about our expert agents and data-backed approach to crop insurance.


Margin Protection might be a fit for your operation if: You want to (difference between expected revenue and expected costs) You are interested in on a federally subsidized product You want a county-based revenue policy, but you don't want to give up Growers can use Margin Protection to lock in margin, with a highly subsidized insurance product, and without physically locking in any grain sales or input purchases. In this 30 minute webinar, Director of Crop Insurance Eric Sorenson discusses the benefits and drawbacks of taking a Margin Protection policy.  Watch now Interested in a second opinion on your policy? to learn more about our expert agents and data-backed approach to crop insurance.


Crop insurance can seem like a bit of a mystery, can’t it? With tons of terminology to wade through and coverages that seem the same, but are actually quite different , deciding what to take advantage of can make your head spin. Purchasing too much or the wrong type of coverage adds up year after year.  But under-compensating for risk can leave farmers exposed to potentially disastrous outcomes. members told us that they feel like they’re on autopilot when it comes to making insurance decisions each year — rolling over what they did last year without fully exploring the alternatives. It’s complex and time-consuming. When they do take the time to make new selections, it’s often a biased decision-making process, heavily influenced by their own past experiences, fears for the future, or the way things have always been done on their farm. A First-of-its-Kind, Online Insurance Analysis Tool at Your Fingertips That’s why has developed a tool that lets you as farmers model the impact of different types and levels of crop insurance coverage based on aggregated data from farms in their area, all online. We’re putting actionable data in your hands to make better business decisions, and crop insurance is one of the most important decisions you makes from a risk management perspective.  Our new tool helps you quickly and easily compare crop insurance coverages side-by-side and see the implications of their decisions, based on 30 years of claims and pricing data. The tool lets you see upfront what the numbers could mean for your bottom line, so you can make more informed decisions as a result. Available to both members and non-members, this tool provides a quantitative crop insurance analysis for farmers, addressing differences between coverage levels and policies – drilled all the way down to a county level. It utilizes the historical percentage variability in price with annual yield variability by county, providing a deeper level of analysis for each individual farm. The tool is not a substitute for discussing coverage options with your crop insurance agent, but it does make your coverages easier to understand, while helping you know what questions to ask. Leveraging Easy-to-Use Data for Your Coverage We launched FBN Crop Insurance on the belief that something as important as insurance should be backed by data and deserves careful consideration. In addition to building tech tools, we hired a team of local crop insurance agents across the country. We now offer the full suite of federally subsidized crop insurance products, as well as private products like wind and hail and a range of innovative alternatives. By simplifying the overly complex steps typically required to research insurance options, and by leveraging easy-to-use data to remove emotion and biases from the selection process, is helping farmers make the best business decisions for their operations. Looking for a Second Opinion on Your Policy? to learn more about our expert agents and data-backed approach to crop insurance.


From what we’ve seen, most farmers look at their crop insurance coverages once a year, just as the closing deadline approaches. Even then, it’s just a quick assessment. And it comes at a time of year when you aren’t certain what the watch-outs will be for the growing season. Crop insurance can seem like just another number on your cost sheet —one you have to pay for and hope you don’t have to use. But to really understand that number, you need to know what your other input costs are, what your income potential is, and what your likelihood of making a crop should be. That can sometimes seem like a guess. In order to demystify crop insurance, we have to look at the whole picture. It’s important that you are aware of and taking advantage of all your options— revenue protection versus yield protection , beginning farmer rancher status, margin protection, etc. There are also supplemental products, such as a revenue band that adds 5-10 percent additional protection, and other hail policies for coverage outside the scope of multi-peril crop insurance.  We’ve developed tools that can provide a virtual snapshot of what risk looks like in your area and on your farm. Utilizing more than 30 years of data, you can compare different coverage scenarios and see how they would work for you. Many farmers aren’t getting a second opinion on their crop insurance. They’re using the person they know, the same agent they’ve always used, maybe the same one who also sells them ag chem at the local retailer. Because the services are all the same, right? ...or, are they?  As we covered previously, multi-peril crop insurance is a government subsidized service, delivered by private companies. In short – . So how can anyone differentiate themselves in the market? And how can you find what works best for your farm? When you need the tools, does it matter who picks it up? We think it does. While quality service itself may the same, Insurance agents are focused on one thing—protecting your investment in the crop. We aren’t juggling a multitude of other services, we’re simply helping farmers make the right choices for their insurance needs. We know how to properly analyze your data and help you decide what works best on your farm. And if you’re already putting your as-planted data into your MyJohnDeere account , they can also use that info to not only get a comprehensive look at the specifics of your operation, but also make it easier to report acreage and make evaluations throughout the season.


When it comes to options for insuring crops, such as corn, soybeans and wheat, there are two selections that often come up: and . We’re breaking them down so you can make the best decision for your farm’s crop insurance. YP insures the amount of grain produced. Based on your actual production history (APH), you would select a coverage level, and that would be used to set the number of bushels you’re guaranteed. This would then be multiplied by the projected price, which is set before the sales closing date, based on commodity price averages from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). This is the simplest way to insure a crop, but it only insures against lost production. Here’s a scenario: RP protects against lost production, but it has the additional advantage of protection against lost revenue due to price changes. RP sets a dollar amount using two numbers – the projected price covered above, or a second price established at harvest, using similar criteria from the CBOT. RP uses the higher of these two prices to establish your guaranteed revenue. Here’s that scenario again: And here’s what happens in this scenario if… Your guaranteed revenue stays the same. Your guarantee would be figured on harvest price. You wouldn’t be charged any additional premium from the increase. Your guarantee would be figured on the projected price, with harvest revenue figured on harvest price. Here’s how I explain it most often... So, if RP insures a fixed monetary amount, and YP insures a unit of measure (which what a bushel is at the end of the day), for many farmers, RP is the way to go. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever marketed their grain With YP, if your yields don’t quite measure up to your expectation when you contracted it, and the price goes up at harvest, you could take a hit coming and going – not being able to deliver on your contract having to buy yourself out of it. Since RP pays the higher revenue potential, in scenarios like the one above, it would help even out the cost difficulties you find yourself in. At the end of the day, RP is designed to help you contract your grain with confidence.  Interested in a second opinion on your policy? to learn more about our expert agents and data-backed approach to crop insurance.


Having the wrong level of insurance coverage can have an immense impact on your bottom line over the long term — you could be overpaying on premiums year after year, or under-compensating for risk, leaving your operation exposed in difficult years. That’s why we’re offering farmers better advice and options when it comes to their risk management. Through the launch of our insurance agency, we’re helping farmers choose the best coverage for their farm, as well as making record-keeping and policy management easy—and comes backed by data-based insights and analytics that are powered by the network. Crop insurance that's simpler and smarter than ever before With , you can get access to all of the insurance products available through federal programs. And, we’ll soon be introducing a number of new, private products exclusively for members. Personalized to fit your specific needs Don’t follow the crowd, get the coverage that’s best for your operation. agents use anonymized and aggregated data (operational data, weather data and more) to help you make the best decisions possible for the level of risk you’re comfortable with. We build a scenario analysis, giving you a detailed overview of the cost per acre and likely payouts for each policy type and coverage level over a range of possible scenarios. It’s personalized to your local weather and pricing patterns, your crop marketing plans and your risk appetite. Not sure what your appetite for risk actually ? We can help with that, too. No two farms are identical, so your crop insurance shouldn’t be either Get the coverage that’s right for your farm: Your weather patterns. Your marketing plan. Your risk tolerance. Now you can leverage technology and data science to get customized, straightforward advice on crop insurance plans. It’s the coverage you need, when and where you need it The right risk mitigation plan year after year can make a big difference That’s why we’re moving towards a fully integrated approach that keeps you secure in down years, without dragging on your profits when times are good. It’s crop insurance that’s as independent-minded as you are. We’re a local team with national reach. Our experienced and localized agent team is there to help you make the best decisions for your operation’s unique risk profile. Our agents understand that insurance is about security, and they’ll work with you to think holistically about your risk management strategies, so you have peace of mind in your coverage. It’s simple advice and straightforward recommendations You shouldn’t have to re-learn the language of insurance every year Our agents offer straightforward recommendations and walk you through the data that got them there. With , you don’t have to follow the crowd on coverage. See what the data says about insurance coverage that’s right for your farm. Let’s put an end to lengthy paperwork and painful processing and management through automated technology and easy-to-access resources you can actually use. We’re building technology and tools to streamline reporting processes, saving you time and hassle. Interested in a second opinion on your policy? to learn more about our expert agents and data-backed approach to crop insurance.