Crop insurance deadline March 17

February 29, 2008

This story covers the impending deadline for signing up for crop insurance for all but the very southern tier of states.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan — In most states farmers have only until March 17 to sign up for federally subsidized crop insurance on spring planted crops, or to make any changes to existing policies.

In many states, last year’s drought produced record crop insurance payouts. Producers, trying to protect their marketing position on surging grain prices invested in high levels of crop insurance protection. They were protected by those risk management decisions.

This was especially true in Oklahoma ($159 million), Delaware ($17 million), and Maryland ($35 million). Also hard hit were South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon, and Virginia.

Nationally over $3 billion has been paid out in indemnities as of February 25. What is interesting here is that less than half of the premiums were paid out in indemnities (48 percent). The crop insurance program worked as intended in 2007. Farmers shared the risks across the entire country and across 400 insurable crops.

The futures prices for grains are again high, and producers in 38 northern and central states have until March 17 to make this year’s crop insurance decisions.

In many cases, premiums and established prices are different from last year. Producers should contact a crop insurance agent well before the deadline and ask for a free comparison of their crop insurance options.

The crops that are insurable and which types of policies are available vary from state to state and county to county so it is critical for producers to contact a local crop insurance agent for accurate information.


NCIS is a non-profit trade association representing the private crop insurance industry. Funding for the development of this release was provided by the USDA Risk Management Agency as part of a cooperative agreement with NCIS.