Maryland Department of Agriculture is committed to working with the state's farmers to manage the risk associated with farming in the 21st Century. Financial risk is a key concern for our state's farmers.
The Maryland Insurance Administration has produced a consumer's guide that focuses entirely on insurance issues relating to agricultural operations. The Consumer's Guide to Farm Insurance in Maryland is intended to help farmers understand their coverage and options for property insurance, including liability and crop insurance resources. The guide provides definitions of terms and types of coverage, purchasing tips, contact information, and frequently asked questions about farm insurance.
Another key element of risk reduction for farmers is crop insurance. Crop insurance, subsidized and regulated by the USDA-Risk Management Agency (RMA), is an important tool in managing financial risk associated with farming. It is intended to help farmers survive disasters and return to profitability, providing they purchase an adequate amount of protection.
Maryland farmers underutilize federally subsidized crop insurance compared to counterparts in other parts of the country. To improve participation rates, USDA-RMA has partnered with MDA and the University of Maryland since 2002 to increase awareness and understanding of crop insurance. Participation is increasing and Maryland farmers are reaping the returns. In 2011, Maryland farmers received more than $30 million in crop insurance payments or about $1.80 for every $1 spent by farmers on crop insurance premiums.
In 2012, farmers invested more than $12 million in premiums for more than 6,600 crop insurance policies covering $359 million in liabilities. Close to 70% of corn acres, 80% of soybean acres and 50% of wheat acres are protected by Crop Insurance.
MDA reminds Producers of Important Crop Insurance information for 2013
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Because of wet, humid conditions at the start of small grain harvesting, farmers may experience damage to wheat and barley crops. Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance is reminding farmers who have poor quality grain that they must report crop damage to their insurance company before they harvest or destroy it. Crop insurance policies generally require farmers to notify their company within 72 hours of noticing a loss; however, farmers are urged to contact their insurance agent and make sure they know what their specific reporting requirements and deadlines are. Failure to report crop damage may jeopardize a farmer’s claim.
“It is important for farmers to protect their crops and farms by making sure they understand their rights under their crop insurance policies,” said Secretary Hance. “It is critically important that farmers be proactive in checking their fields to determine if there is any damage to the crop before harvest and properly report those loses to their agents.”
Quality adjustments are available for loss in value for conditions such as: low test weight, damaged kernels, and shrunken or broken kernels. Discounts made for crop insurance loss purposes may not be the same as those seen at the elevator. These discount factors remain uniform between the Actual Production History and Revenue Plans of insurance throughout all counties in Maryland.
Farmers with poor quality grain should contact their insurance agent before harvesting, file notice of damage and request an inspection by a loss adjuster while evidence is still intact in the field. Farmers who notice damaged grain or low production during harvest should file a notice of loss promptly by unit with the insurance agent. Farmers who must harvest and deliver grain to an elevator before the damage is evaluated by an adjuster should ask their agent to obtain authority from the insurance company for the elevator to take a representative sample from each load. If a farmer receives authority to allow elevators to pull samples the following process needs to be followed.
- Upon arrival at the elevator, a farmer will need to let the elevator know whether samples for quality determinations should be taken for non-mycotoxins, mycotoxins, or both.
- The elevator should take a representative sample from each load and label it with the farmer’s name, load number, name of farm and field number/name so that the insurance unit of origin can be determined from which the grain was harvested. This sample should be in addition to the quality determinations that the elevator makes for the purchase or storage of the grain.
- The elevator should maintain the sample until an adjuster makes arrangements to pick up the sample(s) to make further determinations necessary to adjust the farmer’s loss. Note: the sample(s) must stay in the possession of the elevator until they are picked up by the adjuster.
For more information, contact Steve Connelly at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, (410)841-5824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maryland farmers discuss how they manage risk. Click on the video links below for interviews with these farmers. Watch the Spanish version.