The sales closing date for many fall-planted crops is Sept. 30, meaning Oklahoma producers need to make certain they have their applicable crops insured by this date.

“Agricultural operations across the state are suffering from severe drought conditions and recent forecasts indicate that the drought will likely continue, suggesting that crop insurance will be a very important risk-management tool for producers during the 2012 crop year,” said Jody Campiche, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension agricultural economist.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency lists crop categories relevant to Oklahoma that are facing the Sept. 30 deadline as being apiculture; barley; oats; pasture, rangeland and forage; rye; and wheat.

Sept. 6 was National Fight Procrastination Day, and Campiche recommends that producers take on that mindset in regards to preparing for the 2012 crop year.

“Don’t wait,” she said. “Producers should make arrangements as quickly as possible to consult with their crop insurance agent about appropriate and applicable insurance options or to purchase a policy.”

Crop insurance dates for winter canola run from Sept. 10 to Oct. 10. There are three final planting dates for Oklahoma wheat: Oct. 31 for Texas and Cimarron counties, Nov. 15 for the other 10 northwestern counties and Nov. 30 for the rest of the state.

All 77 Oklahoma counties have a signup deadline of Sept. 30 for crop insurance, reminds Kim Anderson, OSU Cooperative Extension grain marketing specialist, who provided the following analysis for winter canola and hard red winter wheat.

“The 2012 crop year is a year in which producers need to make sure all paperwork is done properly and all forms are filled out at the Farm Service Agency and with crop insurance agents,” he said. “The odds of needing to collect on crop insurance are too great given recent and projected weather conditions. Also, make sure the information provided to FSA and crop insurance agents matches. Don’t just rip through what you’re writing.”

Anderson stressed producers who are thinking about foregoing top-dressing their wheat crop need to have a soil test.

“For insurance purposes, producers need to be able to prove they have sufficient levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in their soil to establish a wheat crop,” he said. “Insurance adjusters will need to be able to see that crop loss was caused by something beyond the grower’s control and not inadequate production practices.”

Additional information about crop insurance, planting dates, acreage reports and crop policies and regulations is available through the USDA-RMA website at http://www.rma.usda.gov/on the Internet.