The combination of prolonged drought, recent rainfall, high winds, damaging hail and blowing sand has created a conundrum for High Plains farmers.
Add to the puzzle the passing of final cotton planting dates for insurance coverage and the situation becomes even more complex. Shawn Wade, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. looks at some of the possibilities for farmers who already have suffered significant losses or abandonment of cotton in the most recent PCG newsletter.
Wade reports: “Despite a mixed bag of impact, the storms certainly were not enough to break the ongoing drought, although many fields did receive timely and beneficial moisture. The reality of the situation is that the storms were at best a temporary respite and additional rainfall will need to come soon for any dryland cotton to get to harvest. … June 5 is also the Federal Crop Insurance program's final planting date for the central tier of High Plains counties. Counties to the north and northwest of Lubbock have a cotton final planting date of May 31, while the southern part of the PCG service area above the Caprock escarpment that borders the region on the east has a June 10 final planting date. The June 5 storm delivered rain, hail and wind … created a muddled situation for both growers and crop insurance providers that are just now beginning to be worked out.
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“All of the acres that are ultimately failed as a result of these storms, or that are failed later on due to non-emergence will have multiple options moving forward, including the planting of uninsured secondary crops. Once acreage is released for another use, growers can choose to keep their full insurance indemnity on the failed primary crop and then plant an uninsured secondary crop under the insurance program's first-crop/second-crop provisions.
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