Arkansas Corn: Crop Insurance Planting Dates

    Young corn field. Photo: University of Illinois

    Lingering cold weather and frequent rains have delayed corn planting in Arkansas.  As of April 24, USDA-NASS estimated that 35% of Arkansas’ intended corn acres had been planted.  This lags well behind the 5-year average for the week of 67% planted.

    For growers facing planting delays, it may be worthwhile to review the crop insurance planting dates specific to each crop and county in Arkansas.

    Final Planting Dates

    Federal crop insurance policies like Yield Protection (YP) and Revenue Protection (RP) include a final planting date and a late planting period.  For most counties in Arkansas, the final planting date for corn is April 25th. This date is followed by a 15-day late planting period that ends May 10th.  These dates can vary by county.  The table below includes a list of Northeast Arkansas counties with a final planting date of May 1.

     Table 1. Crop Insurance Planting Dates for Corn in Arkansas

     Parameter Dates for Arkansas Corn
    Final Planting Date April 25
    Late Planting Period April 26 – May 10
    Final Planting Date | Northeast Arkansas* May 1
    Late Planting Period | Northeast Arkansas* May 2 – May 15

    * Northeast Arkansas counties include: Clay, Craighead, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph.

    Any acres planted during the late planting period receive a lower yield or revenue guarantee than those acres planted by the final planting date. For each day planting is delayed past the final planting date, coverage is reduced 1% per day, declining to 55% for corn at the end of the late planting period.

    Prevented Planting

    In situations when the original crop cannot be planted on time, insured producers generally have three choices:

    • Go ahead and plant the original crop, even though yields and coverage may be reduced.
    • Plant an alternative crop.
    • Abandon the acres and plant a cover crop.

    The flowchart below provides some general guidelines for prevented planting decisions.  We provide this purely as a resource to review ahead of a more in-depth discussion with a crop insurance agent.

    Flow chart that answers the question "Is it possible to plant before the final plant date?" With a series of yes and no questions and different arrows pointing to different options based on the scenario. Download the PDF below for a full description of the content in the flow chart.

    Figure 1. Flowchart with decision aids for determining if it is possible to plant before the final plant date. Click Image to Enlarge

    Each prevented planting alternative carries with it unique considerations and impacts.  For example, in some years, not planting the intended crop may be more profitable than planting late and risking low yields.

    Insured growers who are prevented from planting until after the late planting period and choose not to plant the intended crop at all, will receive 55% of the original guarantee for corn.  In order to receive the full prevented planting payment, no other insurable crop may be planted on these acres; however, a cover crop can be planted.

    As a further consideration, the yield history on any prevented planting acres for the following year will be calculated as 60% of the existing Actual Production History (APH) yield for that unit, if a second crop is planted and a 35% payment is collected. If a producer collects a prevented planting payment and does not plant a second crop, no yield history is counted for that year and the APH yield for that unit is not affected for the following year.

    Work with your insurance agent to determine the best delayed or prevented planting decision.

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