Some farmers facing planting issues following severe weather

Severe weather is forcing farmers to face crop insurance deadlines and make tough decisions...
Severe weather is forcing farmers to face crop insurance deadlines and make tough decisions regarding their yields. (KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jun. 2, 2019 at 5:09 PM CDT
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Nebraska farmers are usually about done with planting by now. However, severe weather is forcing them to delay planting and miss deadlines set by their crop insurers.

"There were already some folks struggling in agriculture and this just intensifies that," said Jay Rempe, a senior economist at Nebraska Farm Bureau.

The last report shows that only 80 percent of corn and 56 percent of soybeans in Nebraska are planted. Crop insurance only covers the full extent of the yield if it is planted by a certain day. Every day after the deadline means Nebraska farmers miss out on money they could be gaining in case of disaster. Rempe said it's a tough situation for farmers to choose.

"A lot of farmers haven't seen these kind of delays in weather and flooding in their farming careers," said Rempe. "Every day that goes by, particularly on corn just gets tougher and tougher."

Nebraskan farmers are just playing a game of odds now. They can plant now and only receive a portion of insurance coverage, not plant and get half of their coverage amount or choose to plant something else with a later deadline to get that full coverage. Said Rempe:

"That's the risk that the farmers are taking... We've seen net farm incomes in the state drop by 60 percent."

Rempe said he admired farmers for their resiliency, but knows that the extreme weather is starting to take a toll on their livelihood.

"When you just continually getting hit with the 1, 2, 3 punch after punch after punch of tariffs, weather, low income, it starts to wear on them. So there's some stress in rural Nebraska right now."