Tractors parked, grain trucks hauling, lakes in farm fields, massive weeds… this is the current site in Northern, IL and across much of the nation. This spring has brought forth challenges, unlike any other. We’ve only got 50% of the acres on our farm planted, and most years we would be very close to finishing up by now. The fields that are already planted have standing water in spots that will greatly decrease the yield potential of the field.
There’s devastation, flooding, and tornado damage all across the country. We aren’t the only farmers having a tough time this spring. We’ve been praying for patience and a break in the weather to hopefully get back out there, but the timing has not been right. So, what happens if we can’t get everything planted?
My father-in-law explains it best, just like you have insurance for your house, we have insurance for our crops. And, even though you have insurance on your house, you still don’t want it to burn down! Just like we don’t want to have a complete crop failure, even with insurance.
Unlike home insurance, we can’t insure the whole value of our crop. And, after June 5th for corn and June 15th for soybeans, the crop insurance rates go down 1% each day. On top of this, our insurance for crops is based on yield averages, and if we have really low yields this year, it will affect our crop insurance for future years.
Then there’s prevent plant, which covers acres that we aren’t able to plant at all. It covers some of the costs but depending on what inputs he already has out there, and land rent or mortgage costs, sometimes prevent plant won’t pencil out and the farmer will take a loss. On top of that, if the farmer can’t plant the field, he still needs to spend money on weed control or future years will be greatly affected by weed pressure.
Because of how widespread these issues are, the corn and soybean markets are responding. If we see big bumps in the markets, farmers who don’t get their acres planted won’t be able to take advantage of it. Several farmers have forward contracts for this crop. So, they might not have commodities to fill their contracts. In this case, they’ll have to buy out the contracts and lose even more money.
We continue to pray and hope for the chance to make something of this growing season, but the 10-day forecast still isn’t looking like it will be in our favor. Please pray for the farmers out there. Pray for their mental health as they go through these hardships and pray for their families.