SPRING 2004 NEWSLETTER
TOBACCO FARMERS - WRITE CROP HAIL EARLY
As you may remember from recent newsletters, the number of companies competing for your crop hail business has decreased substantially. Currently, there are only two major companies in the crop hail business. We happen to write with both of those companies although the amount of coverage offered and premium rates vary.
The best news that we have to offer is that the crop hail rates did not increase from last year’s rates. This was a surprising fact considering that the companies actually lost money last year due primarily to Hurricane Isabel. The bad news is that the companies only have a limited amount of capacity. That is, they will only be able to write a limited amount of volume in a given county. For this reason, it is very important that you write your crop hail insurance as soon as possible.
Through a policy option that is available, we can now write your crop hail insurance prior to planting. This option is referred to as “Autocrop”. Autocrop allows us to use your Federal Crop Insurance acreage report to give us the acres that you are insuring under your crop hail policy. This option allows you to rest assured that you will not be denied coverage due to reduced capacity. It also gives you the peace of mind that your crop is covered seven days after it is planted, regardless of whether it is planted in late April, May or early June.
Crop hail policies include coverage for replanting tobacco in the event that a hailstorm causes you to have to replant. This is good reason to write the coverage now, before the hailstorm happens.
If you would like for us to visit you regarding crop hail coverage, please give us a call.
WE’RE MOVING OUR OFFICE
Effective July 1, 2004, we’ll be moving our office to 5048 US Highway 29, Blairs, VA. This new location is within sight of our current location. The office will be located in the house that is in front of Blairs Mini Storage on the opposite side of the road and just North of our current location. The driveway for the new office is the same driveway that you would enter to go to Blairs Mini Storage. Please stop in to see us at our new home.
ACREAGE REPORTS DUE JUNE 30TH
If you have coverage on corn, soybeans or grain sorghum, your acreage report is due by June 30th. For tobacco growers in Virginia, the acreage report is due by July 15th. In North Carolina, all Spring-planted crops must be reported by June 30th. If you haven’t already contacted us with your acreage for this crop year, you may send us the enclosed form showing your planted acres. On the back of the acreage reporting form, you will find detailed instructions for filling out the form. You may mail the enclosed acreage report to us, fax it to us or bring it to our office. Once we have received your acreage report, we transmit that data to the company and a summary of coverage will be sent to you. The summaries will show items such as reported acreage, total coverage per farm serial number, guarantee per acre and premium amounts. Although you will know how much your premium will be as soon as the end of June, you do not owe that amount until October 1 (July 1 for Wheat). A bill will be sent to you near the end of September unless your premium has been previously paid by a claim or by you.
A second way of reporting your acreage is to give your crop report to your county FSA office and ask them for a copy of the report. You can then mail or fax the report to our office. At most of the FSA offices, you can request that they fax the crop report (Form 578) to our office and they will do it. By reporting to us using the FSA Form 578, you can assure yourself of reporting the same acreage to our office and the FSA office. It has become increasingly important to have the acreage reports at our office and the FSA office identical. One word of caution, please verify that the report turned into FSA is correct before it is sent to us. There have been cases in the past in which the data from FSA was incorrect and therefore, we entered the same data. FSA is able to make corrections after the reporting deadline, however we are not.
We are always happy to hear from you by phone with your planted acres. We do not have to get the acreage from you in written form. When we take your acreage report by phone, we mail a confirmation of the acreage immediately so that you can verify the information. Ideally, we’d like to get your acres as soon as you finish planting. Whatever the method, all acreage reports have to be by the acreage reporting deadline.
WHEAT POLICYHOLDER NEWS
Thus far, the wheat crop generally looks good compared to past years. However, if you feel that your crop will produce below average yields, be sure to contact us so that we can turn in a claim for you. Generally speaking, you should always file a claim as soon as possible in order to have the least amount of problems with your claim. By filing a claim early, the adjuster has a chance to see the crop before harvest and can verify that the yield will be less than ideal.
If you cut your wheat for hay, be sure to leave a sample of the crop in the field for the adjuster to look at. Without a sample of the crop, we cannot adjust the crop and pay a claim. Also, if we can’t determine the production on a farm, we have to assign a yield to the crop. The assigned yields will always hurt your average and will reduce coverage for you in future years. In general, you should always leave a sample of the crop, whether it is a good crop or bad, if you are cutting the crop for hay. Don’t forget to call us so that an adjuster can appraise the crop for the yield that it would have produced.
If you plan to thrash your wheat or other grain crop, be sure to keep accurate records on the bushels that are produced on each farm serial number. Ideally, a third party weight ticket for the grain harvested from each farm will provide the best form of proof of production. If you store your grain, please call us after each farm is harvested so that the adjuster can measure the grain in the bin. If you have a good crop of wheat and know what your combine bin will hold, you can keep a tally of combine bin loads from each farm and that information will be adequate for production purposes in your yield database. However, that information is not adequate in the event that you have a loss this year.
If production isn’t kept separate by farm serial number, your farms will no longer have coverage “by farm serial number” but your entire production in the county will be compared to the sum of all of the guaranteed bushels for each farm. This is referred to as “commingling” and is generally never advantageous to the policyholder.
2004 MARKET PRICES FOR VARIOUS CROPS
The price per bushel, pound or hundred weight paid for each crop in the event of a loss varies from year to year. For corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat, the prices for the yield only plan (APH) and the crop revenue coverage plan (CRC) are shown. Following are the announced prices for 2004 crops.
Apples $7.55 per bushel
Barley $1.85 per bushel
Cabbage $6.10 per CWT
Corn, APH $2.45 per bushel
Corn, CRC, NC $2.53 per bushel base price
Corn, CRC, VA $2.83 per bushel base price
Fire Cured Tobacco $1.31 per pound
Flue Cured Tobacco $1.85 per pound
Grain Sorghum $2.35 per bushel
Oats $1.35 per bushel
Peaches $11.35 per bushel
Soybeans, APH $5.60 per bushel
Soybeans, CRC, NC $6.95 per bushel base price
Soybeans, CRC, VA $6.72 per bushel base price
Wheat, APH $3.35 per bushel
Wheat, CRC $3.36 per bushel base price
These are the prices that will be used if there is a loss of production below your guaranteed production.
If you have to replant 20 acres or 20% of your grain crop because of an insurable cause of loss, you will be eligible for a portion of the cost of replanting and you will keep your full guarantee for that crop. Don’t overlook this protection that is part of your policy. To file a replant claim, simply give us a call. Unfortunately, replant payments are not available for tobacco on your MPCI policy. However, a tobacco crop hail policy does offer replant protection.
VERIFICATION OF UNMARRIED STATUS
Recently, we sent forms to each of the policyholders that we are showing as unmarried to verify their marital status. Without that form, any loss adjustment will be reduced by 50% due to lack of that information. Currently, there are a small number of these forms that we haven’t been able to get from the policyholders. If you are one of those people, a copy of the form is included with this mailing. Please initial the form where indicated and return it to us.
CHANGE IN DOUBLE CROPPING RULES
If you have a Fall-planted crop on which you have or will file a claim, the adjuster will be asking you to sign a form to show your intention with the acres following the Fall-planted crop. These new rules are intended to reduce payment of two losses on the same land in the same crop year. For farmers with a history of double cropping, the new rules will have no real effect. For farmers without the double cropping history, a choice will need to be made as to the use of the land after the claim is paid prior to settling the claim. If your intentions are to plant another crop on the land and have coverage on the second crop, the claim on the Fall-planted crop will be reduced.
We appreciate your business!!!!