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Farmers urged to review crop insurance needs

ST. PAUL -- Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson and Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman issued a consumer alert Friday encouraging Minnesota farmers to consider purchasing crop insurance ahead of this year’s growing season. The standard deadline for purchasing crop insurance is right around the corner. Farmers must finalize a crop insurance plan with their insurance agent by March 15.

“Minnesota farmers may stand to benefit from that wisdom this growing season,” said Rothman, the state’s top insurance regulator. “If dry conditions persist in the weeks and months ahead, having proper crop insurance coverage could be crucial. We encourage all farmers to review their crop insurance needs this month.”

The threat of drought is real again this year. According to the National Weather Service, “extreme drought conditions remain in place across most of west central and south central Minnesota” and “severe drought conditions” continue across the bulk of the remainder of the southern half of Minnesota.

“Risk comes in many forms when you’re a farmer, from commodity prices to input costs to weather,” Frederickson said. “Crop insurance is an important tool for managing that risk, and I encourage farmers to review their options carefully.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), before purchasing crop insurance farmers should consider how a policy will work in conjunction with their other risk management strategies to ensure the best possible outcome each crop year. Crop insurance agents and other agri-business specialists can assist farmers in developing a good management plan. A list of crop insurance agents by county can be found on the RMA website.

RMA provides policies for more than 100 crops. Crop insurance policies typically consist of general crop insurance provisions, specific crop provisions, policy endorsements and special provisions. Minnesota farmers are encouraged to reviewRMA's county crop program listings for more information about crop policies available in their home county. Policies are available for most commodities.

Farmers with questions about crop and livestock insurance are encouraged to visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.