Crop Insurance

Crop Insurance

The USDA recently announced an updated livestock disaster aid addressing increased supplemental feed cost in 2021. The ELRP payment will be based on data from the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).  CCC-853 (Livestock Forage Disaster Program Application) AD-2047 (Customer Data Worksheet) CCC-902 (Farm Operating Plan for an Individual or Legal Entity) CCC-901 (Member Information for Legal Entities, if applicable) FSA-510 (Request for an Exception to the $125,000 Payment Limitation for Certain Programs, if applicable) CCC-860 (Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification, if applicable) AD-1026 (Highly Erodible Land Conservation (“HELC”) and Wetland Conservation (“WC”) Certification) Phases of the ELRP payments Phase 1 of the payments is expected to total $577 million, basing the payments on percentage of an eligible producers’ gross 2021 LFP payment — 90% for historically underserved producers and 75% for all other producers. And, the payments will be subject to a payment limit. Phase 2: USDA said it was evaluating impacts of 2021 and wildfires on livestock producers as it develops the Phase 2 component.  Phase 1 ELRP eligibility Producer and livestock eligibility for ELRP aligns with the eligibility requirements. Only 2021 LFP participants are eligible for an ELRP payment under Phase 1. Livestock producers must have suffered grazing losses in a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as a D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks or a D3 (extreme drought) or D4 (exceptional drought) during the normal grazing season of the 2021 calendar year. Livestock producers who were not allowed to graze their permitted federally managed lands due to wildfire are also eligible for ELRP payments.  ELRP payment calculation and limitations When calculating an eligible producer’s Phase One ELRP payment, Farm Service Agency (FSA) will use the producer reported (CCC-853 form) livestock inventories and forage acreage or restricted animal units and grazing days for the 2021 calendar year. Payments will be equal to the eligible livestock producer’s gross 2021 LFP payment multiplied by a payment percentage. For historically underserved producers (i.e., socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning, and veteran), the payment percentage is 90%, with a payment percentage of 75% for all other producers. Eligible producers with a CCC-860 on file with FSA for the 2021 program year qualify for the 90% payment percentage. Under ELRP, Adjusted Gross Income (“AGI”) limitations will not apply, however there are payment limitations for eligible producers. The payment limitations will be determined by the producer’s or legal entity’s average adjusted gross farm income, which is income earned from their agricultural operation. If an eligible producer or entity, other than joint ventures or general partnerships, has an average adjusted gross farm income of less than 75% of their average AGI for tax years 2017 through 2019, they cannot receive an ELRP payment of more than $125,000. For an eligible producer or entity, other than joint ventures or general partnership, with an average AGI of at least 75% that is derived from agricultural activities, they may be eligible for an ELRP payment of up to $250,000.  Eligible participants seeking the increased limitation must: File form FSA-510; Provide certification that their average adjusted gross farm income is at least 75% of their AGI; and Provide certification from a licensed Certified Public Accountant or attorney that the participant qualifies to receive the increased limitation. Additional USDA Assistance Opportunities The announcement also included information on a new crop-related disaster effort named . USDA announced a two-phase approach for diversified, row crop and specialty crop operations affected by an eligible disaster event in calendar years 2020 or 2021. USDA also indicated there will be additional relief through the . The ELAP program provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of , and for losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by LFP.  The additional ELAP funding will assist producers with the increased cost of hauling livestock to forage. The ELAP compensation is retroactive to 2021 and will also be available for losses in 2022 and subsequent years. The deadline to request all ELAP assistance for 2022 calendar year losses will be Jan. 31, 2023. Important Deadlines The deadline to file for FSA’s LFP program is 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year the loss occurred (i.e. January 31, 2022 for loss in calendar year 2021).  The deadline to file for FSA’s ELAP program is January 30 following the end of the calendar year in which the loss occurred. Producers must file a notice of loss within 15 days after the loss is apparent for honeybee operations and within 30 days for livestock and farm-raised fish operations. More more information on , please contact your local FSA office. To learn more about the Federal Crop/Livestock Insurance programs contact an insurance agent by visiting the or calling 877-204-4645 .  Source:

In response to the severe drought conditions in many parts of the United States, the USDA RMA is suspending the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) 60-day ownership requirement. The lack of rainfall is causing producers to sell cattle earlier than they normally would due to the difficulty in finding adequate forage. The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has released a stating, for Specific Coverage Endorsements (SCEs) they are suspending the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) rule requiring livestock owners to own their livestock up to the last 60 days of the endorsement (coverage) period. This is in effect as of . What it means for producers With producers facing a shortage of available forage due to drought conditions, the suspension of the LRP 60-day ownership rule allows producers options to consider. These options include feeding additional hay/supplement to maintain the cows and growth of the calves or selling calves before the expected sale date. Selling the calves “early” will also allow producers to reduce grazing pressure on the remaining forage and to maintain their existing cow herd genetic base.   The SCEs are still subject to verification of proof of ownership. Proof of ownership can include sales receipts, kill sheets, or other documentation that verifies ownership during the insurance period showing the date the livestock were sold or slaughtered.  If you have questions, please reach out to your agent or contact at 877-204-4645 .

Jun 07, 2022

by FBN Insurance

If you are a livestock producer concerned about drought this year, learn more about Annual Forage policies from Insurance Sales Director, Don Moody and Agent, Roger Givens. This 30 minute webinar walks you through the details the Annual Forage program and who qualifies. Available In: Colorado Nebraska New Mexico North Dakota Oklahoma South Dakota Texas What you'll learn What is annual forage? Why choose annual forage? Availability & eligibility Sales closing Dual use option Q&A Watch now Learn more To speak to an agent about drought protection, please call 877-204-4645 or learn more by visiting our annual forage page .

May 26, 2022

by Mark Wilson

With hail season upon us, it’s time to think about your current coverage. Watch Kevin McNew, Chief Economist at FBN® and Director of Crop Insurance, Eric Sorenson talk current market conditions and how this can affect farmer's decisions when it comes to crop insurance for the rest of 2022. What you’ll learn  How weather and the war in Eastern Europe have affected wheat markets The threat of hail and how to protect against that risk The effects of La Niña Watch now Want to learn more about crop-hail insurance? to get your questions answered and learn how a crop-hail insurance policy can protect your profit potential this season. Transcript Kevin, good to talk to you again. Let's catch up a little bit. There's been a lot that's happened since the last time we spoke. I know the markets have really been on a tear for a long time now. It just seems like there's no end in sight here. We've had a few blips up and down lately, but  it's still holding in there pretty strong. Do you mind just giving us a little bit of a summary of where we're at now in the markets for some of the major quality crops? Winter wheat's getting close to getting cut, you know, as we enter harvest pretty soon and wheat prices are screaming. Prices obviously respond to the outbreak of war in Eastern Europe that shows no end in sight. And the issues that we highlighted two months ago are still firmly in place. So we definitely look for wheat values to stay at record highs, if not continue to push higher. And, you know, there's hints of problems in the Southwest Plains around the crop. But you know, it's spring, it's gonna be summer, it's stormy weather season and, you know, there's hail happening out there. I see hail alerts pretty much every day and you know, Eric you're in crop insurance and you know, I'm a wheat grower, that's got $11 wheat sitting out there looking nice and plump with big heads. What do I need to think about here? You basically hit, hit the nail on the head there. You really need to be thinking about hail coverage. I think what we're gonna see this year and what we're already seeing in some areas are those producers that have some wheat out there, especially if it's in good condition. It doesn't have to be in great condition, but if it's in good condition where there's some meat on the bone, there's something worth protecting. We're seeing some hail sales, certainly there's places where people actually have some very good wheat where they've got the right precipitation, the right weather for it. Obviously with these kinds of prices, pretty unforeseen in some respects, a little bit of hail goes a long way as far as hail coverage goes. I always try to look at as a risk consultant, what can go wrong? And is there anything I can do to protect against that risk? And right now, you know, the closer and closer we get to harvesting wheat I just think about hail and the risk out there right now. I know a while back, it's probably been several weeks ago now, Kevin, but you were talking about the effects of La Niña and how that's kind of lingering on. You said that in some areas of the U.S., it's gonna call for some kind of extremes in the weather. I think we've seen that in a broad part of the U.S.. Look at that drought monitor and it's kind of the, the haves and the have nots for moisture, right? The Western doesn't have it, the Eastern wishes the spigot would shut off so they can get some crops planted. We need to look at some hail coverage. The other thing that I think could take people by surprise is that, you know, hail coverage in a lot of areas where wheat's grown isn't that expensive for what you get for coverage. You might be like a 1, 2, 3% type rate, definitely worth looking into. The other thing I'd say is to make sure that you look at what your multi-parallel coverage is and make sure you’re properly covering the value of that crop. Eric, you mentioned that, you know, the haves and have nots this weather season. I think what that's setting up is this kind of battleground at the, in between places, which is kind of, you know, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, where we're seeing hail outbreaks that are pretty sizable because of that confluence of dry and wet and cold air that's all coming to head kind of at that epicenter there. And so we are seeing regular outbreaks of hail and you're right, La Niña is fading. But that just means more of this back and forth weather pattern. It can't decide if it's a little bipolar right now. It can't decide whether it wants to stay on the lawn or drift out of the sun a little more neutral. And so it's gonna be a lot of back and forth, I think, over the next couple months, which is important for winter wheat guys, you got $11 wheat sitting out there. That hail damage if it hits can be so detrimental when you have prices as high as they are right now. That's right. I've seen so many times when farmers might be out there putting up storage for a big crop that's on the way, or maybe even buying some new harvesting equipment, not only to have those plans change or their perspective change when a big hailstorm comes along. So it's definitely important to think about the other thing I'll say is, you know, a lot of our customers, a lot of farmers we've talked to have kind of punted this year on the hail conversation. And I think the reason they have is because they knew that the markets were on a tear at the time we were making crop insurance decisions on the multi payroll and, and that multi was not cheap this year. Probably a good value because of the guarantees out there, but still expensive. I know we talked to a lot of farmers that were having a hard time making decisions on, on hail. Andwe said, you know, you have the luxury of waiting until there's a risk. And so we certainly don't want to go out there with, you know, a crop that’s peeking up above the ground for the growing point and introducing risk in it without having hail coverage. Butyou know, a lot of people are still struggling with planting, but I think some areas are starting to dry up a little bit and we're seeing some more acres getting planted, particularly corn and beans. I think when they do, they need to make sure they don't forget about that hail because a lot of those conversations it's been weeks now since they've had with their agent. Farmers are looking at their budgets going man fertilizers through the roof and where do I save money? But maybe this year, it's not the year on, on insurance. Well, that's right. And that money has already been spent, right? All those input costs. And so to your point, Kevin, you know, the way we look at it is we're not trying to add to the cost, but we are trying to cover the cost. And I think that's really important because there's just a lot more to gain this year and there's a lot more to lose. Yeah, absolutely. So good times. And, and a lot of uncertainty ahead, but you know, I think, I think this is a great time to be in agriculture and you know, hopefully farmers will have a good growing season and insurance is probably a big component of what they need to have in their arsenal. You bet. That's all very important this year. There's a lot riding on things, no doubt. So appreciate it, Kevin. Thanks for the update. Thanks Eric.

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 .

The Rainfall Index - Annual Forage (RI-AF) Insurance program allows livestock and hay producers to purchase an insurance policy designed to provide coverage against the lack of precipitation on acreage planted annually to forage, used for grazing or as hay for livestock. RI-AF is currently offered in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. While similar in design to the Rainfall Index Pasture Range and Forage (RI-PRF) Insurance, based off of the rainfall index data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), the difference lies in the type of commodity covered. The insured crop under RI-AF is ALL annually planted acres grown for forage or fodder with the intended use including, but not limited to grazing, haying, green chop or silage, which includes commodities such as, but not limited to, wheat, triticale, oats, Sudan haygrazer, etc. In contrast, RI-PRF encompasses perennial grasses, rangeland, and hay types such as alfalfa that are not planted on an annual basis. How does it work? A producer would have to sign up by July 15, 2022 to be eligible to participate. There are four (4) different growing seasons (Insurance periods) which are determined by dates the acres were planted. Producers are able to divide their liability into two-month index intervals targeting when precipitation is important for the crop being planted. Each grid covers an area equal to 0.25 degrees in latitude by 0.25 degrees in longitude. NOAA creates the grids, which do not follow state, county or national boundaries. Each grid is individually rated based on the data for that grid. The program is designed to insure against a decline in an index value that is based on the long-term historical average precipitation for the same area for the same period.  Dual use option RI-AF does offer a Dual Use Option allowing a small grains producer to insure under Annual Forage for grazing in the winter/early spring and then insure their grain crop with a separate MPCI policy and would be eligible to maintain both benefits. The “Dual Use” coverage option is available in counties where grain/grazing is considered a good farming practice and is available for select counties in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Colorado. The dual use option is only available for Growing Season One and primarily used for wheat, some counties may include barley and oats. Your agent should check the Annual Forage and small grains special provisions of insurance. After the two-month interval ends, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) will release a Final Grid Index value representing how much precipitation was recorded for the Grid to compare against the producer selected coverage level. There is no loss adjustment. If there is a loss, the indemnity is automatically calculated and then paid. The Annual Forage program has been a very good risk management tool for producers, especially in the last few years during times of drought. Take control of your risk and gain greater peace of mind Your Insurance agent can tailor an Annual Forage insurance policy to meet the specific needs of your operation. Learn more about this program or connect with an agent by visiting the Annual Forage page or calling 877-204-4645 .

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.

Apr 18, 2022

by FBN Insurance

If your operation is in a region prone to hail storms or you grow crops that are particularly vulnerable to damage from hail and/or wind, you may want to consider adding a crop-hail insurance policy to your existing Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) coverage. Tune into our free, pre-recorded webinar to hear Eric Sorensen, Director of Crop Insurance, and Frank Newell, Director of Sales, cover the basics of crop-hail insurance and how it can help you cover opportunity loss you might experience due to specific perils. What you'll learn Types of crop-hail insurance policies and coverage levels that are available How a crop-hail policy works alongside MPCI coverage you may already have Additional types of loss typically covered under a crop-hail policy How to evaluate which policy and coverage level best fits your operation Watch now Take control of your risk and gain greater peace of mind Your Crop Insurance agent can tailor a crop-hail insurance policy to meet the specific needs of your operation with a variety of coverages and endorsements. Want to learn more about crop-hail insurance? Connect with an agent today  to get your questions answered and learn how a crop-hail insurance policy can protect your profit potential this season.

Apr 13, 2022

by Kevin McNew

Wheat farmers have been counting down the days until they can harvest their crop and reap record high prices. With the war in Eastern Europe showing no signs of letting up, wheat markets have skyrocketed to unforeseen levels as key supplies from Ukraine and Russia will be less available to world buyers this year. As such, Kansas City wheat futures are above $11 for the benchmark July contract, which is a record high for this time of year. Indeed, it is over twice as high as the average value of $5.30 a bushel that farmers have faced in April over the last 7 years heading into harvest. Planning for Weather Impacts While farmers certainly welcome high prices as harvest draws closer in the next few months, Mother Nature will have her own ability to determine the richness of this year’s bounty. Drought is plaguing much of the key corridors of winter wheat production in the Southwest Plains . A La Niña weather system has kept moisture at bay for much of the fall and winter, and as the crop breaks dormancy soil moisture reserves are severely lacking. But for those farmers that are seeing normal or even above normal crop conditions, that doesn’t mean it is smooth sailing into the harvest finish line. The spring and summer growing season is also a time of elevated severe weather threats . And one of the most detrimental weather perils is hail, which can occur as a result of strong thunderstorm activity.  For wheat, it is most susceptible to hail damage once the crop has reached the head formation stage as damage to the grain kernels can be irreversible. Research by shows that even a moderate amount of hail damage during the start of heading can result in crop losses that are about 50% of normal yields. Unfortunately for farmers, this time of critical crop development coincides with the same point in the season when hail risks are increasing. For farmers that grow wheat in the Plains, it is highly likely that hail will fall in a county where they live. The map below illustrates the incidence of hail falling in a given county during the time of winter wheat heading up to harvest over the past 20 years. In many regions of the Plains, there is an 80% chance of hail falling in a given year. This year, with so much on the line, even areas with lower incidence of hail risk may want to consider some hail insurance. There are many types of hail insurance and various deductibles which allow us to tailor coverage to fit your personal coverage needs at a cost that makes sense. Learn more by . How Does This Apply to Your Farm? Run the numbers with an expert FBN Crop Insurance agent today to see if hail insurance makes sense for you. Call 877-204-4645 or click here to learn more .