For farmers and ranchers, crop insurance is often considered a Risk Management Tool. In 2019, more than 370 million acres were protected under the policies, protecting losses on crops and livestock and providing peace of mind in a risky industry.

Although crop insurance has been around a long time — private insurance companies introduced the policies in 1880 to protect farmers against hailstorm damage — here are eight things you might not know about the almost $35billion industry.

1.Timing is everything.

There are multiple important deadlines for purchasing crop insurance and completing farm duties to guarantee insurance coverage. Ask your Farm Bureau agent about sales closing dates for filing applications; in partnership with your Farm Bureau agent we will guide you through Production and acreage reporting dates, earliest planting date and final planting date to ensure your crops are covered. It is essential to have crop insurance in place before you suffer a loss. In the event of a claim we will be there to help you navigate these deadlines as well.  

2. A range of crops are covered.

What does crop insurance cover? The Federal Crop Insurance Program protects against natural disasters which may cause a reduction in yields and the loss of revenue due to declining prices. Policies are available on more than 100 commodities, ranging from field crops, like corn and cotton, to pasture, range, forage and specialty crops like Hemp and Pecans. There are policies in place to protect Dairy risk and livestock revenue / margins. Your Farm Bureau agent can help you tailor a risk management program specific to your own operation.

3. The cost varies.

How much does it cost to insure a crop? The truth is that it varies. All ag operations are unique. The real value comes from your Farm Bureau agent and their ability to tailor the right coverages for your operation. 

4. It is affordable. 

The Federal government subsidizes the farmer-paid premiums to reduce the cost to farmers.  Subsidies can range anywhere from 38 to 80 percent depending on the product, level of coverage and unit option chosen.  Through this Federal support, crop insurance remains affordable risk management tool for America's farmers and ranchers.

5. It is beneficial even for small farms/ranches. 

Crop insurance premium subsidies is size neutral and the same for all. If you are farmer/rancher, large or small, traditional crop, livestock, organic, fruits or vegetables, there is a program that can be tailored for you. Crop insurance is there for rural America helping to protect against natural disasters such as droughts and floods, hail and tornados and even low prices.  Contact your Farm Bureau agent to discuss the options available for your ag operation.

6. Beginning farmers/ranchers have special privileges.

Agriculture is your passion, livelihood, and future. Input costs are expensive and obtaining a line of credit is often necessary. With a solid crop insurance program in place, beginning producers can use their crop insurance program as a risk management tool to secure a line of credit.  Crop insurance programs have designed special provisions / subsidies tailored just for the beginning farmer.  Your Farm Bureau agent can help you navigate all the additional benefits of being a beginning farmer / rancher.

7. Veteran farmers/ranchers have special privileges.

First – Thank you for your service! We are grateful!  Just like beginning farmers / rancher’s agriculture is your passion, livelihood, and future.  After your service to this country you come home to take over the family farm. This can be risky and scary. However, crop insurance programs have designed special provisions / subsidies tailored just for the Veteran farmer.  Your Farm Bureau agent can help you navigate all the additional benefits of being a veteran farmer / rancher.

8. Combination coverage has advantages.

Based on your crops, acreage and location, a combination of crop insurance products might be better than a single policy. Your Farm Bureau agent can help you consider your financial needs and risks and offer suggestions for products that will provide the right amount of protection.

If you’re unsure about the best crop insurance options for your farm or ranch, talk to your Farm Bureau agent about your options.