Michigan farmers are quickly running out of time to meet a critical July 15 deadline for certifying spring-planted acres with their county Farm Service Agency office, as well as filing their Annual Acreage Report with their crop insurance provider.
If you haven’t done so, don’t panic. But make sure you schedule an appointment to certify/late certify planting dates with your Farm Service Agency office no later than the close of business on Friday. Even if the appointment is scheduled post-July 15, it’s critical that you get the FSA appointment scheduled prior to July 15.
Additionally, if you are carrying a spring federal Multiple Peril Crop Insurance policy and you haven’t already reported your acres to your crop insurance agent, you have until Monday, July 16 to report and sign your Acreage Report since July 15 falls on a Sunday this year, according to Janna Fritz, Crop Insurance Manager for Farm Bureau Insurance.
“July 16th is the final date to get a signed Acreage Report to your agent, regardless of when you are able to actually certify acres with FSA,” Fritz explained. “Even if your FSA certification date is after July 16, please meet with your crop insurance agent no later than Monday, July 16 to sign the Acreage Report.”
According to Fritz, an annual Acreage Report is required for each insured crop in each county, even if no acres were planted, warning that the policy can be cancelled if the Acreage Report is not submitted which would nullify any potential claim. The Acreage Reporting Date is also the final date to submit any crop contracts associated with the policy.
“The Acreage Report shows the crops planted, the acreage prevented from planting, where the crops are located, what share the farmer has in those crops, how many acres were planted, the dates they were planted, and the practice followed,” Fritz explained. “So reporting acres on or before the Acreage Reporting Date is a very critical step in establishing coverage on your policy, so don’t be late!”
Michigan State University’s Bruce MacKellar, an extension agent in southwest Michigan, agrees, adding that this year has seen planting delays, heat waves, flooding, prevented planting and now drought conditions.
“In a year where everything related to production agriculture seems to be a race against time in southwestern Michigan, you don’t want to miss this important deadline to make sure you are eligible for government programs and crop insurance coverage,” he said.
Producers needing assistance or clarification can email Janna Fritz or call her at 989-550-6245. You can also visit the Farm Bureau Insurance Website for a listing of local crop insurance agents that can provide assistance as well.