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John Shea, 202-690-0437

RMA ADVISES PRODUCERS ON WET HARVEST CONDITIONS

WASHINGTON, Nov 2, 2009 - Extremely wet harvest conditions are occurring in many areas causing delayed harvest of sugar beets, potatoes, cotton, corn, and soybeans. In some cases, the moisture content is so high the crop cannot be physically harvested with normal harvest equipment.

The most important action you can do is to contact your crop insurance agent to report a loss, indicating your harvest is delayed because of adverse weather, which is an insured cause of loss. You must then continue to carry out normal and customary harvesting practices, if possible.

Your crop insurance policy will cover loss of quality (as specified in the crop provisions), reduced yields and revenue losses if revenue coverage was chosen. The cost of drying the harvested crop is not covered.

If you are unable to harvest by the calendar date for the End of the Insurance Period (EOIP) due to extreme wet or snowy conditions, you may request additional time to harvest beyond the calendar date for the EOIP, from your crop insurance company.

The EOIP is December 10 for most spring planted crops; November 15 for sugar beets in most States and counties; and October for potatoes in some areas. The specific date is found in your applicable crop provisions and is a contractual date that is not extended by the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Read the applicable crop provisions in your policy to be sure of the date.

RMA procedures (Loss Adjustment Manual Standards Handbook, FCIC 25010) allow your crop insurance company to authorize policyholders, on a case by case basis, additional time to attempt to harvest so their claims can be settled on the basis of harvested production.

Your crop insurance company may allow additional time to harvest when the following conditions are met:

(a) You give timely notice of loss to the crop insurance agent; and
(b) The crop insurance company determines and documents that the delay in harvest was due to an insured cause of loss; and
(c) You demonstrate to the crop insurance company that harvest was not possible due to insured causes; and
(d) The delay in harvest was not due to uninsured causes of loss, nor because you did not have sufficient equipment or manpower to harvest the crop by the calendar date for the EOIP.

When the crop insurance company authorizes additional time to harvest, the calendar date for the EOIP is not extended. Rather, you are granted additional time to attempt to harvest the crop in order to settle any loss on the basis of harvested production. Any additional damage to your crop (by an insured cause of loss) during the extension period is covered. Any avoidable loss of production will be charged as an appraisal against the guarantee in your policy.

It is important that you document conditions for your acreage and the actions you take in order to receive an accurate claim payment if one is due. You must harvest your crop during the extension period if a window of opportunity arises. If you do not, the crop insurance company will appraise the acreage at that time and finalize the claim based on that appraisal. Damage occurring after the window of opportunity to harvest is uninsurable.

If there is significant snow cover, if the crop is under water, or if extreme wet conditions exist, the crop insurance company should not (and is not required to), perform final inspections when conditions make it impossible to obtain appraisals accurately.

If weather conditions are delaying your harvest, contact your crop insurance agent to report a loss and request additional time to harvest in order to protect your crop insurance coverage.

Delayed Harvest: Wet Conditions Fact Sheet