Farm Management Specialists Answer Extreme Weather Questions

Ag Decision Maker offers guidance to farmers experiencing flooding and drought


AMES, Iowa – Iowa farmers have seen their fair share of extreme weather conditions during the 2017 growing season. Farmers in the southeast and northwest portions of the state are dealing with drought, while those in the north and northeast have seen extensive flooding.

Losses due to drought and flooding are insurable under multiple peril crop insurance, and the August issue of Ag Decision Maker seeks to answer frequently asked questions about crop insurance. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management specialists Charles Brown and Steve Johnson authored the article.

3 cobs of field cornApproximately 90 percent of the 23.5 million of acres of corn and soybeans planted in 2017 are insured using Revenue Protection multiple peril crop insurance. Once an insured farmer recognizes crop loss they should notify their insurance agent within 72 hours of discovering the damage. Despite damage to a crop, farmers should continue caring for it using “good farming practices” and get permission from the insurance company before destroying or putting any crop to an alternative use.

The spring price for calculating the minimum guaranteed revenue for corn is $3.96 per bushel and $10.19 per bushel for soybeans. This will be calculated again in October to get a fall or harvest price. If the harvest price is higher than the spring price, the harvest price will be used to calculate the guaranteed revenue. There is a maximum of twice the projected 2017 price for the harvest price; $7.92 per bushel for corn and $20.38 per bushel for soybeans.

Provided their claim is for more than $200,000, farmers will be asked to verify their production, which includes a three-year audit.

Additional questions answered in the article include:

  • What is the difference among insurance units?
  • When will farmers be receiving indemnity payments for their crop insurance losses?
  • Can indemnity payments for drought be deferred for income tax purposes until 2018?

Further resources and information on issues related to drought can be found at the ISU Extension and Outreach “Dealing with Drought” webpage.

The Ag Decision Maker website also offers resources providing more information on crop insurance.