Last year’s flooding, coupled with this year’s extreme drought, have made crop insurance more important than ever to Missouri farmers.

“Crop insurance is a completely different industry than it was a few years ago. It has gone from being something producers buy in order to receive their disaster payments to something they consistently rely on,” says Amanda Hurley, a licensed crop insurance agent with C&H Insurance Services LLC in Charleston, Mo. The industry has responded by offering several more insurance options, says Hurley, including additional replant and prevented plant options.

Recent crop disasters, as well as the increased risk from higher input costs, have prompted both growers and lenders to use insurance programs more effectively, says Hurley.

“Wise lenders and producers are much more aware of risk these days and are looking for ways to mitigate that risk,” she says. “Crop Insurance is a government program. Your basic yield and revenue products are the same no matter what agent you buy them from. What producers need to realize is they are shopping around for service, not a better premium price. You have to sign up for crop insurance long before you are even sure what/where you are going to plant. Farmers need to have a strategy that will…