FBN Resources

Welcome to FBN Resources. Your central place to stay up to date on the latest content including reports, videos, blog articles and more created by FBN experts and geared toward the future of farming, supporting better agricultural practices and helping put Farmers First.

Resource Library


Sep 29, 2022

by Kathy Bogardus

Purchasing inputs is one of the most important and vital decisions you’ll make every year for your operation. But how do you pay for your inputs?  When you’re buying inputs, you’re weighing many factors like flexibility in your financing options, cash flow management, low interest rates and overall cost savings. So how do you make the right decisions for your operation when it’s time to start buying inputs every year? In the past when you shopped on FBN Direct® for inputs, you had the option to pay for your purchase with cash, credit cards or an input loan offered by FBN®.  Now, you’ll be able to select an additional financing option directly at check out: an operating line of credit to purchase your inputs, plus unlock 0% interest financing on those inputs for qualified farmers.*  FBN® Finance ’ s flexible financing options give you the power to purchase inputs and do much more for your operation. Let’s look at the difference between input loans and operating lines of credit. What are input loans? When you apply for an input loan with FBN® Finance, you’ll go through a straightforward application process that can be approved in one business day.  Input loans currently only apply to FBN Direct input purchases. These loans are non-revolving lines of $10,000 - $300,000 with a fixed rate. One advantage of using an input loan is that there are no payments due until January 1, 2024. And if you close by January 20, 2023, you’ll get 0% interest on qualifying purchases of FBN Direct inputs. The qualifying purchase requires that you make a minimum purchase of $50,000 by December 23, 2022, or a $75,000 minimum purchase by January 20, 2023, to qualify for 0% interest on FBNDirect inputs purchases all season long.  What’s an operating line of credit? Operating lines of credit are fixed rate, revolving lines of $250,000 - $1 million. FBN® Finance operating lines can be used for many approved ag operating expenses and are not limited to only purchasing inputs. With an operating line of credit, you can buy inputs from FBN (or other vendors), pay for rent or labor, cover the cost of equipment or repairs, or finance other qualifying expenses. When you close by December 9, 2022 you’ll qualify for 0% interest on FBN Direct input purchases all season long. The qualifying purchase requires that you make a minimum purchase of $45,000 by December 9, 2022. And you’ll be able to defer payments with your operating line until March 1, 2024.  Which financing option is right for you? This table outlines the main differences between the two financing options available. But you also have a third option.  Upgrade your input loan with an operating line from FBN Finance to do even more. Qualified farmers who are approved for both loans will have up to $1.3 million in total spending power!  Apply now Learn more about input loans and operating lines of credit and get started with your application today.  Shop for inputs With an incredibly diverse portfolio of products, FBN Direct has the inputs you need, when you need them. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Financing offered by FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. and meet all underwriting requirements. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. Terms and conditions apply. Land financing offered by FBN Finance, LLC, provided in connection with Farmer Mac and our underwriting partners, and is available only where FBN Finance, LLC is licensed. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc., and meet the underwriting requirements of FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. All credit is subject to approval and underwriting. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. *Qualified farmers who are approved and close an Operating Line of Credit through FBN® Finance of $250,000 to $1,000,000 between September 1, 2022 - December 9, 2022, make a minimum purchase of $45,000 from FBN Direct® and payoff the balance in full by March 31, 2024 are eligible to receive a promotional interest rate of 0% when using the Operating Line of Credit  to finance purchases of input products made through FBN Direct® between September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023. Qualifying input products include crop protection, adjuvant, crop nutrition, seed, animal health and livestock feed. Advances on the FBN® Finance Operating Line that are not for the purchase of input products from FBN Direct® will be charged interest at the stated (non-promotional) contract rate in the Operating Line of Credit loan agreement.* Approved farmers who close a  FBN®  Finance Operating Line and make a minimum $45,000 purchase from FBN Direct® by December 9, 2022 will receive the benefit of automatic qualification for the 0% Club from FBN Direct®. The 0% Club offers qualified farmers a promotional rate of 0% interest on purchases of input products only made through FBN Direct® between January 21 - August 31, 2023. Qualifying input products include crop protection, adjuvant, crop nutrition, seed, animal health and livestock feed.  *Payments for all amounts owed under the associated FBN® Finance Operating Line of Credit are due March 1, 2024.  If the total balance for all amounts owed is not paid in full by March 31, 2024, interest charges on all purchases of input products made through FBN Direct® between September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023, using an Operating Line of Credit through FBN® Finance will be imposed from the purchase date at the stated (non-promotional) contract rate in the Operating Line of Credit loan agreement.   FBN Finance, LLC commercial operating lines of credit are offered by FBN Finance, LLC and are available only where FBN Finance, LLC is licensed. Input financing provided in connection with our financing partners. To qualify for a financing offer, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. and meet the underwriting requirements of FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. All credit is subject to approval and underwriting. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.


Sep 29, 2022

by FBN Insurance

Harvest is well underway on most specialty crops out west which may mean it’s time to dig out your crop insurance paperwork. 2022 has been a challenging year between ongoing water scarcity issues and untimely freezes for many of our orchard crops. These challenges have led to a much larger number of crop insurance claims being opened with carriers than the past few years. Here are a few key reminders while trying to navigate your potential claim: 1. Open the Claim If there is ANY chance your production will fall below the insurance guarantee, be sure to inform your agent. Claims must be opened with the AIP prior to beginning harvest so an adjuster can inspect any damage.  2. Work with the Adjuster After the claim has been opened, work with the adjuster. It is their responsibility to inspect your crop prior to harvest. During their inspection they will verify that there has been weather related damage to the crop and estimate the extent of the damage. Reach out to your agent if you’ve opened a claim but have not heard from the insurance company. They will be able to help you get in touch with the adjuster assigned to your claim.  3. Provide Production As soon as production records are available, provide them to your agent and adjuster working your claim. The sooner these records are handed off, the sooner your claim can be finalized and any potential indemnity paid out. This is especially important this year due to the number of specialty crop claims opened across the western region. It will also allow your agent to get a head start reviewing your APH and developing a coverage plan for 2023.  4. High Dollar Claims A high dollar claim review is conducted when a crop claim exceeds $200,000 per crop, per county. This is a standard review to double check all of the production that you have turned into your agent. An adjuster will look at the most recent year of production history. If there are no errors, they will stop there. If there are any discrepancies, they will ask for two more years of history. If your claim has the potential to exceed the $200,000 threshold be prepared to gather up those settlement sheets from 2019-2021 to expedite the process. The main point to keep in mind when dealing with a potential crop insurance claim is that communication is key. Timely communication with your agent and adjuster will keep the process moving forward, avoid any unwanted surprises and ultimately settle your claim faster.  Take control of your risk and gain greater peace of mind Your FBN® Insurance agent can tailor a specialty crop insurance policy to meet the specific needs of your operation. Learn more about this program or connect with an agent by visiting the FBN Crop Insurance page or calling (877)-576-4468 . Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider. FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.


Sep 28, 2022

by FBN Network

Don Moody and Gerold Stephens from FBN® Insurance discuss how Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (PRF) insurance can help manage your forage needs and the perils to your operation from a lack of precipitation. What you'll learn about PRF Insurance In this webinar, Don and Gerold discuss: What is PRF? What are the different coverage options? How does PRF work? When does PRF pay out? What tools exist to make PRF elections? New updates to PRF Watch now Learn more about PRF insurance Click  here  for more information about the PRF Insurance program or to speak to an insurance agent . Webinar Transcript Don Moody: Hello, everyone. Welcome to a presentation brought to you by Farmers Business Network®. What we're going to talk about today is how to manage your forage needs and the peril of not enough precipitation. With us today is Gerold Stephens. Gerold is an agent out of west central Missouri and he knows a fair amount about PRF pasture range, land forage, and also produces livestock himself. So he knows what we are talking about when we bring these things up.  We're going to go over who we are. We're going to get into detail about what PRF or pasture rangeland forage protection is  and we’re going to talk a little bit about different coverage options, how they work, when a potential indemnity may occur and what would trigger it and what tools exist.  So you can make an informed decision for your ranch. Never, ever accept a one size fits all unless it's a free ball cap. There are always those infamous disclaimers. You need to know who we are and what we're liable and responsible for. Farmers Business Network was created several years ago to put farmers on a level playing field with the folks that buy our products.  People in row crops are very familiar with us. That's where we got our start – Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska places where row crops are very prevalent.  We just started really getting serious about ranching. This last winter, we brought on one of the major players in pasture range, land and forage protection. On the insurance side, we also brought in a pharmaceutical company and a nutrition company, because again, we realized that agricultural production is a whole lot more than corn and soybeans. We really depend on cattle and the animals that graze our vast pasture lands within the continental U.S.. Specifically, we're the largest farmer to farmer agronomic and business network. We take a hundred percent anonymous data sharing and unbiased benchmarking. We do use the data on purpose and intentionally to develop better programs for you. The producer also makes sure on the pricing side of things, which is not what we're going to talk about today at all. It's another part of our house, but that you are receiving fair prices for your commodities. Also paying fair prices for your inputs.  We provide insight on farm practices, seed performance, and what's relevant today is maps and weather. We're doing everything we can to leverage network demand, to decrease input costs. We are available again for online purchasing but that’s another topic for another day. We're trying to come up with creative, innovative marketing options for farmers. Look for more to come in the livestock arena. And we are local. There are more than 500 employees scattered across the lower 48 and we are also expanding into Canada. There's strength in numbers. It's not a new thing. Bargaining power. Think of your local ACE hardware store.  The reason folks belong to that is because they can make better purchases controlling their bottom line and passing that on to consumers. We really are not that much different. If you look at some of our key partners, both on the retail wholesale side, both on the input in the marketing side is we try to do our best to best position you, the producer purchasing what you need to do, what you do to make a living, and then also get a better price for that.  Please make the world your test plot, if you will. This was developed for probably a corn or soybean, but it's very, very applicable to ranch land. The weather is one of our main make it or break it's. It produces our yield and our yields.  It's the pounds of beef produced per acre or the pounds of lamb, depending on what you utilize. Your forages for vegetative indexes are important. Crop moisture is important in some areas. Fertilizer is a very important thing to maintain the nutrition and the volume in the forages, and then the different things that go with it.  This is where our membership currently is scattered. You know, we've talked earlier about the fact we started out in row crops that pretty much shows in the concentration through the ice states down in the Platte river valley and on up into, through the Dakotas, Montana and up into Canada. But as we get into livestock, you'll see this heat map change as we get into the plain states, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Nevada more than the Dakotas. So we have agents scattered around the lower 48 to assist you with your risk management assessment and coming up with ways to address those risks. Again, today, we're going to listen to Mr. Stevens in just a moment. He covers a pretty good swath of real estate, but can't cover the whole lower 48. So this is kind of where our folks are our specialists, if you will, within crop insurance, PRF, LRP, DRP. Gerold, thanks for bringing my attention to our map that we have our agent of the service maps. So we do have insurance professionals specializing strictly in crop forage and livestock insurance. You'll see where they're located, where our processors are located, where our managers are located. We have several agents that are licensed in the lower 48 covering from Pennsylvania all the way out to California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming.  We have a gentleman in Arizona that ranches, actually two, that are very knowledgeable on the things mother nature can bring to in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah. We are licensed and we are able to assist you wherever your need might be in the lower 48. Gerold Stephens: My name is Gerold Stephens. I'm a crop insurance agent with Farmers Business Network from Western Missouri. And we are going to talk about PRF. I'll take a chance here to say that PRF stands for pasture range, land and forage. It's a rainfall index insurance program that the RMA puts out and we're using rainfall as our yield and everything is based on historical data all the way back to 1948, where Noah has gathered rainfall data and for each weather grid across the entire lower 48.  And that is how we come up with what your area should receive and rainfall on this slide. We're going to go through the PRF basics. We're going to keep it pretty high level.  Step 1 First of all, in step one, we want to identify the acreage and whether it qualifies for this federal program which means that it has to be grazing ground or haying ground. You're going to talk to your agent about what kind of intentions you have for that ground and whether we can sign it up in this PRF. Step 2 We're then going to decide what coverage level is right for you in your operation. For example, if you pick a 90% coverage level, and I know Don's going to go through an example here in a few minutes, but if you pick a 90% coverage level, any rainfall underneath 90% in a two month interval is going to trigger a payment.  Step 3 We're going to be looking at a really nice feature if you will, for this program, it's a multiplier. So then we can really adjust the type, adjust that coverage level and how much we're going to cover it anywhere from 60 to 150%. So, that again is pretty high level. Your agents can take care of you on that.  Step 4 We're going to choose at least two, two month intervals and coverage. And it's important that we now mention that we make those two elections and have a signed application by November 15th for the 2022 crop year.  And finally just hitting this lightly if any indemnity payments are to be after the premium is paid. Those payments are triggered 60 to 90 days after that interval ends. And that's, that's really nice because we're not waiting for the end of the year to get our insurance payments. If we're owed money, we're going to get those pretty close to the time that we actually experienced the lack of rainfall. Don Moody: That's a good point. Another nice point is you're not built for the coverage until barreled. It is August 1st, the bill is sent out, it's due September 1st and must be paid by November 15th. Gerold Stephens: If I remember correctly, September 1st and due by September 30th or must be paid by November 15th.  Don Moody: Thank you, sir. And again, the point being there is that it coincides when a lot of folks are selling their spring calves on the fall market. Absolutely. Gerold Stephens: This slide refers to the intentions that I was referring to earlier. The only two types of ground that we can use this program on is grazing ground and haying ground. It's important to note that all grazing ground is that you need to actually own the livestock to qualify for this. It's ground that you run him over and over and bail it, bail it up.  And what the reason we have to identify one or the other is that the county-based values that RMA puts out that helps us, helps us determine how much we are insuring. Hay ground has worked a lot more than grazing ground.  Don Moody: Thanks, Gerold. Each county has a county-based value. That's set by the RMA based on university information, typically on what an acre of grazing or an acre of hay land is valued at in that county. And again, that's used to determine the coverage per acre.  From there, we can do a production factor and really, if you take a step back and look at it, it's based on your land's ability to produce be it hay, or be it grazing, we can choose 1% factors from 60% to 150%.  An example I give is I grew up in the Sandhills in Nebraska. The stalking rate on high hill ground out there can be as high as 20 acres per cow calf unit. If you've got metal ground that could drop down to five to 10 based on sub irrigation levels and this and that, and some different factors. So there's quite a difference in, in acres ability to produce. And that's why that factor is there again, Gerold did a brilliant job talking about the coverage levels, if you will, those are your risk tolerance levels. It's what you want to self-insure, which would be your deductible.  If you look at it that way, what do you want to defer to the insurance company? 90% is the highest level. So anytime as Gerold talked about the normal average precipitation in that selected interval falling below 90%, it would trigger an indemnity.  You can select that all down to way to 70%. The point with it is there's two points, actually one, you have options. And two, the program ought to be a plan that works for you. It's definitely not one size fits all. We have a rate example there from Vernon County, Missouri, as an example, the county based value there's $270 an acre. If you used a selected 90% of coverage level with 150% productivity factor, your coverage per acre would be $364 and 50 cents. That would be the indemnity I would receive if it did not rain at all. And we've got an example coming up, typically how it works. Every year the RMA announces new county-based value rates. We have lobbied as an example in Wyoming, the county-based value for irrigated hay land is not high enough to protect what you have at risk.  We've lobbied aggressively for that. I don't know if we're gonna win or lose. We haven't seen the new kind of base values for 2022 come out yet. But the point being is that those do change up and down based on the information received by the RMA. Next, you'll talk about selecting the interval. You have to be into something that can't overlap. You can't do January, February, February, March. You can't double down on a mat in a month, but you do have to have at least two intervals. There are tools and resources out there, again for you to make the best decision. You have to have at least 10% in an interval with no more typically than 50.  In some areas, you actually can go up to 70%, but that would be a specific county and a specific state. Again, that's something your insurance professional would know and could show you. But again, you want to put the plan together that best protects the two things you depend on in forage production, which is haying and grazing. That's what this program is intended for.  Here's an example on hay coverage, and we're going to keep way up in the weeds on this, on purpose there. This is an example of the formula that is used to determine your actual coverage.  You know, the county-based value in this example, $116. The producer selected a 90% level. It's good, good ground produces well. So they select a production factor of 150%. And then their 50% plan would equal coverage of $78.30 an acre. You can do this by hand. It's tedious, it's painful. We have tools available as most agents do to make it an automated process, but you'll see in a moment it's still very visible or visual.  Again, this would would be what potentially would trigger an indemnity. The average rainfall is 3.6 inches for that interval that was selected. They receive 1.6 which is roughly half that's where that 50% weighting came in from the previous slide.  We have a protection of $78.30 acres. So you would apply the deficit of rainfall times the protection, which was $78.30 would leave you an indemnity of $34.80. It's applied towards  the premium first. And then after the premium is satisfied, it is applied or sent out to you in the form of indemnity. Next slide please. So we utilize data-driven elections. And what we mean by that is the RMA has been collecting average rainfall for each interval since 1948. There is a massive, massive amount of numbers out there. Earlier, we showed you an example of how, since some things can be done longhand and they can, but it's far easier. In this example, we're looking at the state of Texas. These individuals grazing within the state of Texas they're in Sherman county and their ranch is actually predominantly in grid 1 9 6 1 4. Remember Gerold talked earlier, grids are 17 by 17 miles at the equator.  They get smaller as you move north based on latitude and longitude. This particular individual decided to go with a 90% coverage level, 150% productivity factor. And then from there, this is how they split their coverages out. As you can see on the slide, they pick March, April, which might be a month when it's very much dependent on moisture to develop their grasslands for the upcoming grazing season. They also picked May June, July, August and those were the three animals they picked. My hunch is it was based on when they have the need for precipitation to make or break their grazing year. And then from there, it tells us how that would work out. You know, their total indemnity potentially for this example would be $24,650.  We have the ability to take the average rainfall, the different productivity factors, the different coverage levels and tailor make a program for you. And any agent that has the proper tools at their disposal. But the point with it is, it is to make an informed decision based on the data that exists that best protects your forages, which is what you depend on to sell your lands or your cattle, depending on what you do. And given the fact, this is cattlemen, my hunch is it's probably going to be cattle.  PRF updates the program changes every year. And what I mean by changes is every year the army analyzes their programs to see what could be done better. What's working, what isn't working and providing clarity.  One of the things that's very important about an update that came out a year ago is you have to own the cattle or have an absolute interest in the production of the cattle. This program is for livestock producers, not investors, not real estate brokers. It is for cattlemen, cattlewomen, to protect what they have. You have to make sure that things match up that the person that is utilizing the ranch land or grazing land also owns a cattle or has an interest in them. Things are based off. Locations are based on points of references. For those of you that may farm you're used to use common land units to show where the land is. You're insured with PRF. We are in some states where the grazing lands are so vast. It's actually based on a point of reference on latitude and longitude. They've made some changes to continuous land, different grids, and different weather experiences.  And a lot of ranches will straddle 1, 2, 3, 4 grids. If and again, we'll get into the weeds on a one-on-one, we're going to keep it high level, but the point being is there are ways to manage your risk there's ways to assess your risk. The RMA, that's almost a tongue twister, the RMA recognizes this and makes appropriate changes to it. Again, to make it work legitimately best for the producer, but continuous land just simply means that you could have ranch land that starts in Cherry County, Nebraska, and goes across the state line up into Todd County, South Dakota. We all know that mother nature does not pay attention to where state lines end and begin. And so if your home ranch and the predominant acres you produce are in Cherry County, Nebraska, and the land continuously goes up into Todd County, South Dakota, you would have the ability to pick the grid in Cherry County and cover the land up in South Dakota, where that would be an entirely different grid because they do start and stop on state lines. So anyway, more to come on that we can get into the weeds with.  Again, this goes back to reporting land. If it is available the RMA and the different AIPs, which are approved insurance providers, are insurance companies approved by the RMA to provide the insurance for pasture range, land forage.  If common land units are available or resource land units are available, that is what they would like to have. Some of you have to pay attention to native sod rules, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, the Dakotas. But you're familiar with that. If you've been working with your FSA offices, there are times when you will be audited, and it's not like an IRS audit. It's actually called a compliance review.  And what the RMA is wanting to do is to establish that (A) you do have an interest in the livestock and (B) you do have the legal right to utilize the forage production, be it hay, or be it pasture. And to do that, it's easily done feed receipts, sale barn receipts. Leases, it's not cumbersome. It's not a problem. It's not a bother, but again, it's something your licensed insurance professional. A live person will answer or call you back. We can put you in contact with an insurance professional in your region that can get into the weeds with it. But please remember it's a program brought to you by the RMA, which is part of the USDA. The RMA stands for the Risk Management Agency. They've been around forever. Typically they are known as the folks that provide multi peril, crop insurance, but a need was recognized about 12 years ago to provide risk protection for folks that depend on forages or on forages for their livelihood. And that was the advent of pasture range, land forage production. If you live in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, there's actual annual forage production available. Again, the premise is the same. You depend on acres for haying or grazing off annual forage as you plant there's protection available for that PRF is for perennials. That's going to be your perennial native grasses, typically on grasslands or improved pasture, but one's an annual perennial.  Today, we talked specifically about the perennial coverage, but with that, hopefully we instilled some questions. We are here to help the programs be developed for your needs. And with that, I thank you for listening. The purpose of the following material is to promote awareness of risk management concepts and to highlight risk management products, features, benefits and availability. This presentation does not provide full details of policy provisions or approved procedures. Producers should consult with a local agent for specific details and program requirements. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider. FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN membership is not required to purchase through FBN Insurance LLC, but certain features may only be available to FBN members. FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.


Sep 27, 2022

by FBN Insurance

What Is Multi Peril Crop Insurance?  The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) offers Multi Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) coverage for numerous crops throughout the United States. Available for more than 100 different crops (though not all crops are covered in every region), MPCI protects farmers against crop losses caused by natural events. Crop Insurance Deadlines Important insurance dates vary by crop and region of the United States. The important deadlines are: Sales Closing Date (SCD) Acreage Reporting Date (ARD) Premium Billing Date For crops planted in the fall (e.g. winter wheat, winter barley, oats, rye, triticale), the SCD is generally September 30 with an ARD of December 15.  For crops planted in the spring (e.g. corn, soybeans, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, spring wheat, spring barley), the SCD is generally March 15 with an ARD of July 15. Specialty crops (i.e. fruits, nuts, vegetables) have different SCDs and ARDs throughout the year based on the state or county in which they are grown. For the majority of these crops, the premium billing date is August 15. Other Insurance Deadlines There are other commodities or insurance programs (e.g. Pasture, Rangeland and Forage, Apiculture, Annual Forage, Margin Protection) that have a single SCD for the entire United States. The Whole Farm Revenue Protection insurance program has three different Sales Closing Dates depending on your tax filing year, which fall between November and March. Trusted MPCI Protection from FBN® If you haven't gotten a second opinion on your crop insurance in the last few years, now is the time to see how a personalized approach to insurance could make a difference in your operation.  To learn more, and to ensure you meet the appropriate deadlines for the crop you are growing for your specific state and county, contact an FBN insurance agent by clicking here or calling (877)-576-4468 today. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider. FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.


Article Crop Insurance

When Are Livestock Insurance Deadlines?

Sep 27, 2022

by FBN Insurance

The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) offers three federally subsidized insurance programs specific to livestock producers . These programs include:  Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) Additionally, the Rainfall Index insurance program includes Apiculture, Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) , and Annual Forage .  These federal crop insurance programs run on a “reinsurance calendar” year starting July 1 and ending June 30 of the following year. For example, reinsurance year 2023 began July 1, 2022 and will end June 30, 2023.  Livestock Insurance Deadlines For the LRP, LGM, and DRP insurance programs, the transfer or cancellation deadline is June 30 prior to the start of the new reinsurance year. If a producer wants to change their agent, switch to a different insurance company or cancel their policy for the upcoming year, the transfer/cancellation application needs to be completed and signed by the June 30 deadline.  If the producer is new to LRP, LGM or DRP, an application can be completed and signed anytime during the reinsurance year. Once an application is submitted and approved, the producer can then purchase coverage using a coverage endorsement throughout the year.  After coverage is purchased, premium is billed at the end of the coverage period.  For LRP, the premium billing date is the first of the month following the month in which the coverage ended. For example, if the coverage period ends October 14, the billing date is November 1. For LGM, the premium billing date is the first day of the month following the last month of the coverage period in which the insured has target marketings or in which the coverage period ended. For example, if the coverage period is February-December, and the insured only has target marketings in March-May, the billing date is June 1. For DRP, the premium billing date is the 25th of the month following the month in which the coverage ended. For example, if the coverage period is October-December, the billing date is January 25. Lack of Rainfall Insurance Programs PRF and Apiculture Insurance Deadlines Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) and Apiculture insurance are classified under Rainfall Index insurance coverage. PRF, which was developed to support ranchers and hay producers by giving them the opportunity to insure their forage grown for grazing and haying , is available in the 48 contiguous United States. Apiculture insurance, which covers bee colonies, uses a range of indexing systems to assess plant growth, which indicates varying levels of honey production. December 1 is a key date for both PRF and Apiculture programs. This represents the sales closing date (for coverage between the following January through December), acreage reporting date and, if the insured wishes to transfer or cancel their coverage for the upcoming year, the date by which a transfer/cancellation application must be signed.  The PRF and Apiculture premium billing date is September 1 of the following year after the sales closing date. For example, a December 1, 2022 sales closing would have a premium billing date of September 1, 2023. Annual Forage Insurance Deadlines Annual Forage insurance , which covers against lack of precipitation on acreage planted annually for use in grazing or as hay for livestock, also falls under Rainfall Index insurance coverage.  The sales closing date for Annual Forage is July 15. This is also the date by which a producer must submit a transfer/cancellation application. Under Annual Forage, there are four acreage reporting dates that align with the four different growing seasons:  October 15 January 15 April 15 July 15  The Annual Forage premium billing date is August 30 of the following year after the sales closing date. For example, a July 15, 2022 sales closing would have a premium billing date of August 30, 2023. Trusted Protection from FBN®  Whether you raise cattle, dairy, apiculture, or swine, Farmers Business Network® has the expertise to serve producers of all sizes. With our Farmers First®approach always top of mind,our agents are here to build a loyal relationship with you, ensuring stability and trust in times of market loss, mortality loss or unexpected peril. FBN is more than just insurance. Our agents work with you to understand your biggest concerns and offer solutions that provide you peace of mind. To speak with an agent and learn more about our available coverage options, please click here or call (877)-576-4468 .  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider. FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.


Sep 27, 2022

by FBN Insurance

Whether it’s almonds in California, apples in Washington, or cherries in Michigan, there is Federal Crop Insurance Policy to help manage your risk. In fact, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) protects 76 different specialty crops that account for over $20 billion in liabilities.  Below we’ll cover three of the most common specialty crop insurance plans . Actual Production History (APH) APH policies insure producers against yield losses due to natural causes such as drought, excessive moisture, hail, wind, frost, insects, and disease. This is a basic plan of insurance that covers most specialty crop commodities including almonds, apples, blueberries, grapes, peaches, pistachios, and walnuts. The farmer selects the amount of average yield they wish to insure, ranging between 50-85%. The farmer also selects the percent of the predicted price he or she wants to insure, between 55-100% of the crop price established annually by RMA.  If final production is less than the yield guarantee, an indemnity is paid on the difference. The indemnity is calculated by multiplying this difference by the price selected at sign up and the insured share in the crop.  Sales closing dates vary by crop and region, with most falling between November 20 and January 31 .  Actual Revenue History (ARH) ARH policies are very similar to the APH policies outlined above. However, they base the guarantee on revenue per acre rather than yield. This gives producers the added benefit of some market volatility protection due to the revenue component. Crops that are eligible for ARH policies include cherries, oranges and strawberries. While sales closing dates for ARH also vary by crop and region, they primarily happen between November 20 and January 31 .  Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) WFRP provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $17 million in insured revenue (up from $8.5 million in insured revenue in years past), including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets. Sales closing dates for WFRP vary by region, with all regions falling between January 31 and March 15 .  WFRP can serve as an excellent tool in a specialty crop producer’s risk management toolbelt. A few benefits of the WFRP program include:  Ability to cover ALL crops grown on an operation Provides Revenue Protection on specialty crops that historically have only had yield protection options available Subsidy levels as high as 80% depending on commodity count and coverage level  Ability to account for expanding operations  Take Control of Your Risk with Specialty Crop Insurance from FBN® FBN has experts in specialty crop insurance located nationwide, each of whom are ready to discuss the specific needs of your individual operation. Learn more about these programs or connect with an agent by clicking here or calling (877)-576-4468 .  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. We are an Equal Opportunity Provider.FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.


Sep 26, 2022

by Anthony Stibbard

Frost, that localized phenomenon that can be so destructive in spring. The 2022 season has been a particularly challenging one for many parts of Australia. Coming into September, susceptible crops can be severely affected by frost. Being able to identify damage sooner rather than later will help make better decisions to recoup as much of your lost profits as possible. Capturing accurate temperature information is a key to early detection of frost damage in crops. Plant surfaces cool more quickly than the surrounding air, so often air temperature is not an accurate determination as to what exactly is occurring in the canopy. The best method of temperature logging is to use an accurate temperature measurement tool placed at the height of the crop canopy. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) uses what is called a Stevenson Screen to measure temperature. The screen is raised so that the thermometer is 1.2m above the surface, and hence is not giving you a clear picture as to what is going on in your crop. A general rule of thumb is that the canopy temperature is approximately 1.5 - 2.5°C lower than the Stevenson Screen temperature during a frost event.  *Note it is important to monitor air or crop canopy temperature closely as frost occurs on clear nights in early spring when the air temperature drops to 2°C or less.  If you suspect a frost event has occurred in your canopy and the crop is between stem elongation and grain fill it is wise to inspect the crops as early as possible. Start with any paddocks which are known to be high risk, check low lying areas and light soil types first before inspecting the rest of the paddock. Ensure a wide area of the paddock is inspected as frost events can be highly variable throughout the paddock. Monitor the same high risk areas over the coming days to check for signs of frost damage. *Note frost symptoms may not be obvious for 5-7 days after the frost event.  What to look for? When inspecting individual plants, check the developing heads, the nature of the frost damage depends on the plant development stage when the frost occurs. Crop damage from frost may occur at any stage of development but is most damaging at or around flowering. When looking for damage a magnifying glass and knife are helpful tools in identifying damaged heads, flowers or stems.  Frost at flowering Frosted anthers typically white in colour, will turn a dull brown if affected by frost. The ovaries will appear shriveled as no grain is being produced and the head may have bleached florets. Grain; Frosted grain at the milk stage will turn from its typical white colour to a brown and crumpled appearance. Frosted grain at the milk stage will appear spongy, and brown in appearance and you will not be able to squeeze the milk out of the grain.  Stem frost A pale green or white ring will occur on the stem below the head or between the internodes. The frost affected area may turn white or brown and the heads may bend over.  If you suspect there is any frost damage in the paddock, call your local agronomist and discuss the next steps. It is important to get a clear understanding of the level of damage that has occurred and the likely yield loss. This will help you manage the next steps when considering alternate options, cutting, harvest, manuring or grazing are all options but without knowing the full extent of the damage the best decision may not be obvious. I always like to leave a test strip in a crop that does not reach harvest, just to check you have made the right decision.  Finally, ensure that any paddocks more severely affected than others are logged in your crop planning software, by doing this it will help you make more informed decisions of what and when to plant in high risk paddocks in coming seasons. For more information and help identifying frost affected crops the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has put together a Frost Identification Guide for Cereals . Shop Crop Protection Products  Find the crop protection products you need at FBN Direct®. We have a diverse portfolio to provide product options for growers like you to support plant health. References https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/frost-identification-guide-for-cereals/DPIRD-Cereals-Frost-Identification-Guide-October-2020.pdf https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/sites/gateway/files/GRDC-Managing-Frost-Risk-Tips-and-Tactics-Frost-050216-northen-southern-and-western-region%20%281%29%20%281%29.pdf https://media.bom.gov.au/social/blog/916/ask-bom-how-is-temperature-measured/ -- Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Products and services are offered by Farmers Business Network Australia Pty. Ltd. and are available only where Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. Nothing contained on this page should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. Terms and conditions apply. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/territory law to use any pesticide other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered chemical product is a violation of federal and/or state/territory law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state, territory and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must be authorised to use restricted chemical products under applicable state or territory law. Please consult your applicable state or territory authority for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted chemical products as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.


Sep 22, 2022

by Mark Wilson

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN , what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities? I joined FBN back in May 2021 and I am about a 5 minute drive from the San Carlos, California headquarters. My current title is HR Coordinator and some of my responsibilities include onboarding new hires, assisting with relocations, background checks, and managing employee requests. What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ? My previous experience before FBN was in fitness and sales. What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  When I was job searching it was hard to find a company that’s mission stood out to me. Living in the Bay Area, you see and hear of all these big tech companies but it felt like very little of them had a mission that would make me feel a part of something significant. FBN gave me just that.  Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you? I wanted to gain HR experience and the HR Coordinator position felt like the perfect role to get me through the door. That, along with FBN’s mission- it all led to me prepare intensely for the interview process. Thankfully it was all worth it! Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe life at FBN ? Life at FBN is an adventure. I’ve had quite the journey here so far; full of growth, exposure and building confidence. I think FBN has pushed me to challenge myself and go above and beyond to learn and grow whatever I can. It can definitely be a bit chaotic at times but it’s allowed me to become the employee I am today. Not to mention the type of employees FBN has. I have never worked for a company that has employees as friendly as FBN does. What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future? The Total Rewards, Systems and Operations team is making moves! We have a lot of new folks on the team but they came in running and ready to make progress where needed.  We are a strong, well rounded team now and it shows. Right now, we are preparing for open enrollment, strengthening our People Operations team and employee service center. All in the hopes of making our employee’s experiences better. Why do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Besides being latina and having a whole month that celebrates my people and culture, I celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because it gives opportunity to non-latino folks to learn more about not only the beauty of our culture but also the challenges one faces growing up latino in the United States. I think often people don’t realize how different our experiences can be and I think it’s awesome to have an opportunity to highlight those differences as it will allow room for compassion and understanding.  What has your experience been like with FBN's Adelante! ERG? Adelante has been one of my greatest accomplishments at FBN . Looking at where we started back in October 2021 to where we are now, the amount of engagement and leadership opportunities that have come from being a co-lead is amazing. We have a phenomenal group of people that share similar backgrounds or know people with similar backgrounds and it’s been great to be able to hear everyone’s stories and have a place to talk about our culture.  We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun? Fun? What’s that? Haha! But in all seriousness-I love trying new foods, going to the gym, watching movies, learning how to make cocktails, and snuggling my dogs.  What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ? For someone considering FBN , I’ll let them know the pace at FBN is quick! Change is consistent here and one has to be able to adjust. Some people thrive in those environments and my advice would be to use it as a tool when joining to help create change where needed! What is one thing you are looking forward to in the future at FBN ? Personally, I’m excited to see how much our People Operations team evolves; however, as a whole, I’m excited to see how FBN will continue to grow and be recognized. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


Sep 21, 2022

by Kathy Bogardus

As inflation continues to skyrocket, the Federal Reserve met once again to try to stabilize the economy. And as many analysts predict a possible recession, consumers are once more bracing for a rate hike of at least three-quarters of a point. This is the third increase in less than 4 months as we saw a rate hike of 0.75% back in June and July. And as FBN’s Chief Economist Kevin McNew predicted, the Fed is raising interest rates once again.  With inflation at the highest it’s been in over 40 years, the Fed has to continue to try to curb this escalating situation. But the global market has been impacted by external factors like the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.  By increasing interest rates, the Fed is actively slowing down the economy which leaves the risk of recession higher than ever. And as the economy continues to shift, we turned to the experts to better understand this overwhelming issue. What should farmers focus on We previously advocated for farmers to refinance and take advantage of the lower interest rates when they were available. If you locked in a lower rate but still need cash, we suggest you consider our Farmland Capital product. This program is similar to a second mortgage in that FBN will take a second lien position to whatever lien currently exists, which means that you won’t lose that low rate interest loan.  Another option in an increasing rate environment is for farmers to consider locking in rates with longer terms. Farmers who can lock in rates for the next 10-30 years may have some certainty that they’ll continue to remain profitable. And if rates drop, they can prepay and refinance at lower rates. Locking in for the long term may be the right thing to do now for many. Review our great land loan rates across a variety of term options. With farm costs not going down anytime soon due to the cost of both inputs and fertilizer, it’s good to look at ways to effectively run your operation. While the cost of fertilizer is likely to be elevated for some time, it’s worth looking at adopting technology to make input usage more efficient. Thinking about strategic alternative investments to improve your ROI is a sound option.  Is U.S. farmland at risk? Farmland real estate has been a good long-term investment but with the uncertainties of the current economic climate, you might be wondering how this recent market turbulence will impact farmland values. Farmland real estate is still holding value and there is strong confidence that it will continue to do so. Interest rates will have to get well above inflation rates and hold for a very long time before farmland values would be affected negatively.  Fortunately, farmland as an asset class is somewhat insulated from the turbulent U.S. economy. Recent data from the USDA shows U.S. farmland values actually increased 12.4% between June 2021 and June 2022, but the future of such values still remains uncertain. [Learn more about how the economic shocks of 2022 are affecting farmland values in our recent FBN Research report. Unlock the free report today .] Looking forward While the ‘80s brought high inflation rates to the country due to energy and food price shocks that started in the ‘70s, the outlook for farmland values is not as dire as it was back then.  With interest rates well below current inflation rates and farmland valuations trending around fair value based on projected cash flows, there is still strong confidence in farmland values nationwide. Near-term global grain shortfalls from weather and war should further support farmland values even as the underlying investment calculus changes based on shifting interest rates. And with the Federal Reserve now trying to get ahead of the curve, they risk creating a situation where rates are higher for longer than expected, causing longer term economic impacts. Finding the right balance is a precarious position for the Fed at the moment.  Source: 1. USDA Ag Land Values August 2022. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  Financing offered by FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners and is available only where FBN Finance, LLC is licensed. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify, a borrower must be a member of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. and meet all underwriting requirements of FBN Finance, LLC and its lending partners. Interest rates and fees will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all applicants will qualify.


Sep 20, 2022

by Brad Roberts

Buying seed for next season can be a tricky process. You have to weigh performance and price for a particular hybrid or variety to make strong ROI-based decisions for your operation, but all too often you lack access to the data you need to make informed choices. It’s important to get the answers you need when making a big investment like this on your farm. Here are five key questions you need to ask this year to make sure you’re buying seed with your bottom line in mind: 1. How does the seed performance potential compare to its price?  You can easily view best-case scenario plot trial data from manufacturers, but you need to know how the hybrid or variety actually performs in the real world across thousands of acres. Not all seeds are going to produce the same yields at the same planting population, so you’ll need to evaluate planting variables that are going to work best for the seeds you buy. When farmers contribute data to FBN®, all farmers in the network benefit. With precision data, farmers are able to review yield performance, seed performance, and optimal seed placement . Ultimately, that data helps farmers make better decisions for their operation.* 2. How does this seed fit into your planting strategy? Your farm and fields are unique, so you’ll want to buy seed that is well-suited to thrive on each unique acre of your operation. While it may make sense to plant one hybrid of corn on certain parts of your acreage, it may be best to plant a different hybrid on another field. Learning how seeds perform under conditions similar to yours can help you make the right seed-buying decisions.  3. Do the seeds include the protective traits you need? Understanding the cost of traits alongside seed performance can help you optimize your seed selection for net revenue , rather than yield alone. Ask yourself if the expected increase in yield by planting seed with a particular trait technology will outweigh the potential cost increase of doing so. Look for overall profit potential in your seed selection, which comes from a combination of high yields (through high-performing genetics as well as trait technology) and reasonable prices. 4. Do the seeds align agronomically with your farm management capabilities? Do you have the equipment and resources required to successfully plant, maintain, and harvest the crops grown from the seeds you’ve selected? If not, you’ll want to consider adjusting your equipment and resourcing strategy for the upcoming season or purchasing alternative seed options.  5. Are you considering genetic diversity across your farm? By ensuring genetic diversity, you’re reinforcing the long-term viability of crops across your operation and supporting their ability to adapt to changing conditions, in addition to supporting future trait development.  There’s a Better Way to Buy Seed At Farmers Business Network®, we’re committed to putting Farmers First® and powering the prosperity of family farmers. With the right tools in your hands and seed price and performance data contributed by thousands of farmers, you won’t have to keep buying seed the same way. Here are a few ways to get started selecting your seed for next season:  Check out the seeds available to buy now on FBN Direct® with a full portfolio that includes traited and conventional corn, Enlist E3® traited soybeans, sorghum and hybrid rye at FBN.com/Seed . Try out the new FBN Flex Pick , which enables you to lock in early discounts without having to select specific hybrids or varieties upfront. Without having to commit upfront, you get more time to decide on the right seed for your operation and consult with the FBN team to find the perfect product fit.  Read through the latest seed guides to compare your available options, including the FBN Seed Guide and the Paloma™Seed Enlist E3® Soybean Guide .  * This is an updated post originally published in 2019 with new content written by Brad Roberts on September 20, 2022. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First", “FBN Direct” , "F2F", and "F2F Genetics Network" are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.  Paloma Seed™ products are sold by FBN Direct as a distributor for Warner Seeds™.  PALOMA IS A TRADEMARK OF M.S. TECHNOLOGIES, L.L.C., WEST POINT, IA. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply. Information and insights provided by FBN are based on submissions from FBN members and in certain cases other third-party information, and its availability and accuracy is not guaranteed *Information and data may not be available for all seed products including some seed products distributed by FBN.