March 15th is the last day to complete enrollment for 2021 agriculture risk coverage and price loss coverage programs. Considering that day is coming up in less than two weeks from when this episode publishes, we thought we’d bring you a little bit of timely information about crop insurance in pulses.
Steve Junghans is a risk management specialist at the USDA risk management agency regional office in Billings, MT. He is the lead person there for pulse crops, and is responsible for maintaining and improving the dry bean and dry pea crop insurance programs in MT, ND, SD, and WY. He works closely with the Northern Pulse Growers Association and Northharvest Bean Growers Association, and keeps them up to date on program changes. Steve took a few minutes to give us a behind-the-scenes look into the crop insurance programs for pulses, how payouts are determined, how they are handling things like intercropping, and some of the issues they sometimes see in the process.
“This management agency's role is to provide sound risk management tools for growers so they can have a stable income to produce crops in maintain an affordable and adequate food supply for our nation.” - Steve Junghans
Steve discusses three different plans available to producers and the types of pulse crops that apply for each. Plan One is the yield protection plan that protects against production loss only. Plan Two is the most popular and comprehensive option and provides protection against loss of revenue due to production loss, price decline or price increase or a combination of both. PlanThree is rarely selected and is the revenue protection plan with harvest price exclusion. It does not provide protection against price increase.
“It is very important that growers market at least some of their product and report prices, even in a down market so a harvest price can be established.” - Steve Junghans
Steve says by taking this measure the producer protects themselves by establishing a more accurate harvest price in order to get the most out of their policy. Steve also offers guidance for those participating in intercropping with pulse crops. If pursuing a fall planted pulse crop, it would need to be requested by the spring sales closing date of March 15th. The grower would need to get spring coverage and consent to an inspection to identify a proper stand to uphold the crop. Increased premiums may result if not handled properly.
Steve highlights that growers need to be aware of proper documentation in regards to written special agreements. The insurance sales agent is responsible for sending this in but producers should be aware and confirm that it happens in order to get the protection desired.