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Thomas Milligan

Changes for 2018

Spring planting is right around the corner and crop insurance is a normal part of the process for many producers. There have been several changes to the 2018 Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) program made by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) that will affect farmers on several levels.

First, what has been referred to as “High Risk” (HR) ground has been eliminated in most counties in Ohio. Only Coshocton, Holmes, Pickaway, Ross, and Wayne Counties have land still classified as HR. This is usually bottomland or other land that is more susceptible to crop loss. Previously, this HR ground could be excluded from coverage or insured at a different level than the rest of the non-HR ground. The premium for this ground was markedly higher than non-HR ground. With the elimination of that category for most of Ohio, the HR ground will simply be part of the regular coverage. Producers may want to contact their insurance agent to see how this might impact their coverage and premium.

Secondly, the standard MPCI policy has always included Prevented Plant (PP) coverage at 60 percent of the guaranteed coverage for corn and soybeans. Last year, the corn PP was reduced to 55 percent; however, a farmer could add an additional 10 percent PP coverage, bringing the total to 65 percent for corn and 70 percent for soybeans. For the 2018 crop year, the 10 percent additional coverage has been reduced to a maximum of 5 percent, meaning the highest PP coverage available is 60 percent for corn and 65 percent for soybeans. Your insurance carrier or agent should notify you of this change.

The third change has the potential to really help the history of farmers when a crop is lost or damaged due to the action of others. It is called Uninsurable Unavoidable Fire (UUF). In the past, if the neighbor inadvertently applied a chemical and the spray drifted and damaged an insured’s crop, there was no way to adjust the production to account for the damaged acreage, and thereby lowering Actual Production History (APH) yield. Another example would be that if a passing car throws out a lit cigarette and it burns a field, no APH adjustment could be made, again hurting the historical production. Beginning in 2018, the acreage can be adjusted to account for the crop damaged by a third party. These losses are still not insurable, but at least the APH will not suffer as well. Call your agent should one of these unavoidable events occur.

Success to you in 2018!