Crops salvaged from insured fields will reduce crop insurance payments

In some parts of Michigan, farms are undertaking salvage harvest of the corn stover that is currently in their fields this harvest will impact crop insurance coverage and potential payments.

The drought has taken some of Michigan’s corn crop past the point of no return and recent showers arrived too late to help some locations. A quick assumption would be that livestock farms could attempt to chop of the dried up corn stalks to salvage a few tons of rough cattle feed from their fields. It is vital that farms understand that any crop harvest will impact the calculation of any future crop insurance payment if the crop is insured. Before destruction or salvage harvest of any crop, the farm producer needs to contact the crop insurance agent and request information on how to proceed. In most cases, any field that is going to be worked down or chopped off will need to be inspected by a crop insurance adjuster. The adjuster will establish the amount and any value of the crop that is currently in the field at that time. Only then with permission from the crop insurance agent should a farmer work down or salvage the remaining crop from a field covered by crop insurance.

We are concerned that some farms, in efforts to help livestock producers find some forages will chop off the drought damaged crop not knowing that the harvested stover will be deducted from a crop insurance claim on this year’s crop. Most crop insurance coverage will not allow the salvage of stover from a field until after the growing season has ended, which is November for this area.

It is always the very best practice to check with the crop insurance agent as they can give you the details of the policy that each farm has and will help evaluate any reductions that salvage or destruction of a standing crop can have on the 2012 crop insurance coverage.

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