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NDSU tool aids planting decisions

NDSU tool aids planting decisions

By Scout Nelson

Farmers in North Dakota are often faced with the challenge of delayed planting due to wet field conditions. Recognizing this, North Dakota State University Extension has developed a new tool—a spreadsheet designed to help farmers analyze and make informed prevented-planting decisions.

Ron Haugen, an NDSU Extension farm management specialist, explains the tool's relevance: “If wet conditions continue in certain areas of the state, it will prevent some producers from seeding all their acres before the dates that crop insurance coverage starts to decrease.”

This statement underscores the timely need for such an analysis tool, especially when unexpected weather events push planting beyond the crop insurance final planting date.

The tool, available at, allows farmers to conduct a partial budgeting comparison. It evaluates the economics of accepting a prevented-planting indemnity against the risks and potential returns of planting late or opting for an alternative crop.

The spreadsheet considers various costs like cover crop seed and maintenance, and potential income from later crop production after subtracting direct production costs.

Key considerations in the decision-making process include the reduced crop insurance coverage for late planting and the expected yield and market price for crops seeded later in the season.

Haugen highlights, “The crop insurance coverage level is reduced for the first several days after the date when producers can choose prevented planting.”

The tool discusses other strategic reasons for planting even if late, such as using up soil moisture to prepare for next year's planting or fulfilling forward sales contracts, albeit with possible reduced yields impacting future insurance guarantees.

NDSU's spreadsheet analyzer not only aids in decision making but also provides comprehensive information on eligibility and crucial planting dates.

Farmers are encouraged to consult with their crop insurance agent to discuss specific details and eligibility related to their prevented-planting options, ensuring they make the best possible decisions for their agricultural operations.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-eugenesergeev

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Categories: North Dakota, Business, Crops

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