All crop insurance policies are included in a single plan called COMBO. Within COMBO are yield protection and revenue protection options. With revenue protection, farmers can select the harvest price plan or the harvest price exclusion plan. The deadline to purchase crop insurance for spring planted crops in Missouri is March 15. Insurance settlement price for corn in 2012 is $5.68/bushel; soybeans, $12.55.
Last year, 2,898,071 acres (89% of planted acres) of corn, 4,260,847 acres (84% of planted acres) of soybeans and 497,864 acres (60% of planted acres) of wheat were insured. For 2011 crops, Missouri farmers paid $804,562,766 in premiums and received $769,482,598 in indemnities. Indemnities exceed premiums for corn, grapes, potatoes, and rice in MO.
Two significant changes were introduced this year to corn and soybean policies in Missouri. First, the pilot Biotechnology Yield Endorsement (BE) Program that provided premium rate reductions for producers who planted certain qualifying corn hybrids has ended. It is not going to be extended as a permanent program.
Second farmers can now choose a Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History (APH) Yield Option. Because of improved genetics and production practices, yields have been increasing every year. In Missouri, corn yields have increased about 1.2 bushels per year and soybean yields, 0.37 bushels per year. Until now, farmers' insurable yields have been calculated as the average of the last 10 years of actual production. That means the average was 5 years behind the trend. A quick estimate shows that by choosing the Trend Adjusted Actual Production History Yield option, a farmer could guarantee an additional 6 bushels per acre of corn or almost 2 bushels per acre of soybeans. These estimates are not what individual farmers will experience because the program adjusts their previous APH by their county's historical yield trend. There will be restrictions on who can use the Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History Yield Option. The policyholder's APH database must include at least one actual yield determined in one of the last 4 most recent years. The database must also have at least 4 actual yields within the previous 12 years or the adjustment will be prorated. A change that was in effect for 2011 and will continue indefinitely is the classification of organic production as a recognized practice. This means that farmers who are producing organic crops are able to insure them at a higher price.
REVISED: February 29, 2012