Make crop insurance claim if corn mold is suspected
ST. PAUL -- The late harvest and extremely wet weather has resulted in several problems for farmers, including the appearance of mold on the ears in standing corn. Many farmers are asking what they need do to make sure they comply with all crop insurance procedures for any crop loss.
If farmers suspect there is mold in their corn, they should immediately contact their insurance agent and open a claim before harvesting the corn. The adjuster needs to verify whether or not aflatoxin mold is present. If aflatoxin is present and verified by the insurance adjuster, a quality adjustment will be made and a claim is paid to the farmer based upon the loss. However, if the farmer harvests and stores the crop without an adjuster's verification and aflatoxin is present, the insurance company will void any claims made by the farmer.
There have been several new strains of mold in corn fields as a result of the wet weather. Many of those molds have not yet been identified. Therefore, it is even more critical for farmers to contact their insurance agent immediately if they see mold in their corn. An adjuster needs to verify the mold, and also will check whether or not the mold is aflatoxin. If there is no aflatoxin, the farmer can likely begin harvest. There would be no need to leave check strips at that point.
If farmers can proceed with harvest, it is recommended that they do so regardless of the corn moisture content. Waiting a few days for dry-down, especially if more rain occurs, may greatly increase the mold problem. Rapid harvest is critical even though it adds to the cost of production. There is more information for producers on a University of Minnesota Extension Web site created for producers facing late harvest challenges at http://www.extension.umn.edu/LateHarvest.
If farmers have questions about their crop insurance coverage or any procedures they need to follow, contact the insurance provider and ask the questions necessary to ensure compliance. Doing so will enable them to take advantage of the crop insurance protection they have purchased.
Gary A. Hachfeld is an ag business management educator with University of Minnesota Extension.