February 28 is the deadline for Arkansas row crop producers to make crop insurance decisions. They must decide if they want to purchase Multi-Peril Crop Insurance, which crops to insure and their levels of coverage, says Henry English, director of the Small Farm Project at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Insured growers must decide on any changes to their existing policies. If farmers want to keep their current level of coverage, they can do nothing and it will roll over. To cancel crop insurance, farmers must notify their crop insurance agent in writing by Feb. 28.
The Feb. 28 deadline applies to growers of corn, cotton, soybeans, rice, grain sorghum and peanuts. Even though fresh market tomatoes are not a row crop, Arkansas tomato growers can purchase crop insurance and must make similar decisions, but they have until March 15 to do so.
Farmers should take advantage of crop insurance to minimize farming risks. With changing weather patterns, farmers should not be considering canceling their insurance; in fact the opposite is true, warns English.
For specific information on crop insurance, check with a local agent. A list of agents is available on the Risk Management Agency’s website.