The signup for ARC and PLC likely won’t come until August or September after the recent passage of a new farm bill. However, the crop insurance deadline is fast approaching, and Steve Sims with Dick Sims Crop Insurance Agency in Cass County says you might want to start looking at ARC/PLC prior to signing up for crop insurance. Most Hoosier farmers chose ARC-CO last time around, but it may not be a no-brainer this time. Sims says PLC could be a better option.
“We’re not coming off of as good of prices and the yields have been okay but not super great. Basically, if the price goes below $8.40 on beans or $3.70 on corn, then you’re going to get paid on a percentage of your base acres. So, especially on corn, I saw some statistics that halfway through the marketing year we’re running about $3.50 compared to that $3.70 price.”
So how does this play into your crop insurance decisions? Sims says that if you plan to sign up for PLC, you can take advantage of something in the farm bill that not many did last time called the Supplemental Coverage Option, or SCO.
“SCO is basically a program that guarantees you revenue based on the county’s yields and prices that are discovered in the marketplace, similar to what crop insurance itself does. So, if you sign up for PLC, then you’re eligible at whatever level of crop insurance you take to get from 86% down to that level.”
Sims said that, statistically, many people already carry 80%-85% crop insurance. So, if you’re at 85% it may not be worth it.
“But if you are only carrying 80%, or 75%, or 70%, then that becomes a pretty good band of protection that you could purchase as an endorsement on top of your crop insurance policy for very reasonable because it’s 67% subsidized. So, if you’re at 80%, the SCO on corn in Cass County might cost $3 an acre. You’re basically buying $9 worth of insurance for $3 an acre, so you’re really leveraging it.
The crop insurance deadline is next week, March 15.