USDA Opens Signup for Market Facilitation Program

Enrollment Now Open through Dec. 6 Signup opens today for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations. Through MFP, USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part […]

USDA Announces Details of Support Package for Farmers

(Washington, D.C., July 25, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced further details of the $16 billion package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals. In May, President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy in line with […]

Survey Shows MFP 2.0 Did Influence Planting Decisions

This week Purdue University and the CME Group released the June ag barometer. While the barometer did show improvement in both current conditions and future expectations, it also confirmed an issue USDA was trying to avoid. The 2019 version of the market facilitation program (MFP) did influence planting decisions. The June survey of more than […]

It’s Time To Talk Soybeans

Corn has been stealing the spotlight for months. Acres jumped per USDA’s June Acreage report, and prices have rallied between 50¢ and 75¢ since March, making them likely more profitable to grow that soybeans. But farmers need to keep their eyes on soybeans, says Scott Irwin, University of Illinois agricultural economist. “We are really in […]

USDA To Allow Farmers To Harvest Prevent Plant Cover Crops Sept. 1

RMA Announces Change to Haying and Grazing Date for Prevented Planting Acres Planted to a Cover Crop WASHINGTON, June 20, 2019 – Farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres will be permitted to hay, graze or chop those fields earlier than November this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today. USDA’s […]

Impact of Cover Crop on Prevented Plant

Black Dirt means nothing is growing there.  Farmers grow things.  Everyone is asking the same question:  Do we put a cover crop on the Prevent Plant acres?   What do we put if we are going to do a cover crop?  Will it impact my PP payment? There is no crystal ball that will provide […]

MPCI vs Health Insurance

MPCI vs. Health Insurance Did you know that Multi-Peril Crop Insurance and Health Insurance are a lot alike? They both have a premium and deductible on top of deductible. Like health insurance, MPCI is not as simple as you might think. Health insurance has a lot of deductibles. MPCI has even more! Let’s compare the […]

Prevented Plant Guidelines to Remember

MPCI Prevent Plant (PP) has a few guidelines to remember. Keep in mind that in order to receive compensation for your loss, it must be due to an insurable cause of loss. If you want to receive the enterprise discount, you need to have the same crop in two different sections in order to qualify […]

Five Steps to Assist in Being Prepared For a Disaster

Hopefully your farm will never face a severe weather disaster. But, the floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters that have swept across the country this year show it can happen to you. While you can’t prevent these severe challenges, a little preparation can go along way in coping with the stress. “Settling insurance claims can […]

Cover Crop Options with Prevented Planting Fields

May 31, 2019 ICM News Whether it’s too much rain or perfectly timed rain, many fields are flooded or too wet to continue planting in many parts of Iowa. Delayed and preventative planting crop insurance dates are fast approaching with an unfavorable weather forecast. Decisions surrounding your delayed and prevented planting provision need to involve […]

Livestock Losses?

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to eligible producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal […]

Economics of Prevented Planting, 2019 MFP Payments, Disaster Assistance & Price Dynamics

We stand at a point of extreme price and policy uncertainty.  In the Midwest, corn planting is historically late and many acres are or soon will be eligible for prevented planting payments on corn crop insurance policies.  On many farms, corn prices have not increased enough to cause net returns from planting corn to exceed […]

Answers on the 2019 Market Facilitation Program

The much anticipated second round of trade assistance has been released. The Trump Administration had been promising farmers a second round of  trade assistance for the past two weeks. Today, the USDA released more details on the new program.  Although farmers would prefer trade not aid, they also need to be able to pay off […]

Answers to Common Prevent Plant Questions

Prevented planting decisions are always difficult, but market and policy dynamics make 2019 decisions even more difficult, according to recent analysis from the University of Illinois and Ohio State University. (See the farmdoc daily piece, “Prevented Planting Decision for Corn in the Midwest,” written by Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Ryan Batts and Carl Zulauf). Prevented […]

Taking Care of YOU

Why is this important?  Because everyone needs have enough fuel to get through the day.  Enough fuel to take care of yourself and your loved ones.  The phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup” comes into play.  Self-care shouldn’t be thought of as selfish.  It’s not all about us, it’s about knowing what we […]

Weather or Not

When you have the opportunity to live in South Dakota you will deal with adverse weather conditions.  In the summer it gets hot and dry and in the winter we get our share of snow.  This year is no exception as far as winter goes.  In my insurance years I don’t remember the office in […]

Protecting your Critters

Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) describes the policy in the name. For the most part, if you raise it on your farm and sell it as income reflected on your income tax, it can be insured. This time of year, when you are doing your income tax, you see the gross income figure, you see […]

ARC, PLC, And The Farm Bill

ARC and PLC are six letters you likely learned about five or so years ago, and then forgot. And why wouldn’t you? At the time, we were given the one and done opportunity to sign up for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) with the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In the current […]

Introducing MCEU

Are you one of the many farmers who have enjoyed the lower cost benefits on Enterprise Units when purchasing crop insurance? Do you farm in multiple counties? If so, the new for 2019 Multi-County Enterprise Units (MCEU) may be worth looking into with your agent this year. Multi-County Enterprise Units allow farmers who utilize Enterprise […]

When it snows, do you … Shovel or Make Snow Angels?

24 inches of snow contains about 2.4 inches of water (1-inch water/10 inches of snow). Prevent Plant is a hot topic. Yes, we have some snow. Yes, we are all tired of it. But is prevent plant truly the most important consideration for farmers? Consider this Prevent Plant scenario: Corn acres without buy-up will pay […]

5 Tips to Reduce your Cyber Risk

Unfortunately, data breaches and other cyber crimes are becoming way too common. In the past couple years, data breaches have resulted in major fines and legal fees – not to mention headaches – for a discount retail chain, one of the nation’s largest banks, a well-known health insurer, an entertainment network and the federal government. […]

2019 Spring Price Discovery – Corn, Soybeans & Wheat

Allen Pickard earns 2018 Outstanding Service Award for Innovation and Problem Solving

VOLGA, South Dakota – Pickard Insurance Services awarded their 2018 Outstanding Achievements awards at their Year End meeting.  Allen Pickard was presented with the prestigious 2018 Outstanding Service Award on December 14th for Outstanding Innovation and Problem Solving in Crop Insurance. Pickard Insurance Services has recognized their team members for Outstanding Service for the last […]

Donna Horkey earns 2018 Outstanding Service Award for Customer Service

VOLGA, South Dakota – Pickard Insurance Services awarded their 2018 Outstanding Achievements awards at their Year End meeting.  Donna Horkey as presented with the prestigious 2018 Outstanding Customer Service Award on December 14th for outstanding customer service. Pickard Insurance Services has recognized their team members for Outstanding Service for the last two years at their […]

Tips to stay safe during cold weather activities

Chilly snow days are calling your kids outdoors.  Fun winter activities beckon kids of all ages to join on the slopes, trails, ice rink, or backyard.  Check out these safety tips below and be sure to have the hot cocoa ready when everyone comes back inside! Don’t Underestimate the Dangers of Cold Weather Before heading […]