I have a question for folks about recognition of good "organic farming
practices" when it comes time to collect a crop insurance payment.
If you are an organic corn farmer (less than 100 acres) and you follow all
organic farming practices to bring in a corn crop-you planted the crop timely,
you followed the organic certification rules and did not use sprays, etc.
However, during the time when the crop should have been cultivated--the ground
was too wet, consequently, weeds took over the field.
In this situation the cause of loss may be 1) due to excessive moisture or 2)
improper control of weeds--the farmer did not cultivate since it was too wet
and weeds took over or 3) possibly both. The corn crop was appraised at zero
Your scenario is very extreme. Firstly, it is extremely unlikely that an
organic farmer would lose a crop entirely to weeds and secondly, it is
extremely unlikely that a farmer cannot get into a field to cultivate. If
there is that much rain, the farmer probably would never get the crop planted.
If excessive moisture kills an organic crop, it will obviously do likewise to
conventional crops in the same locale.
Do you think herbicides work effectively under unusually excess rain
conditions? I don't.
Is there anything this producer could have done to bring in the corn crop in
versus the zero production he/she suffered due to the excessive moisture and
weeds which were caused by not cultivating?
I do not think this is the question. Organic farmers, especially anyone
raising organic field corn understand all the options to get a crop to
maturity very well and use those practices and systems. The issue for FSA is
what is the value of the organic crop and if a crop is worth so much, why can
it not be insured for its full value? What is the purpose of crop insurance?
Are not the premiums for such crops determined by track record plus a margin
for errow and profit. Why shouldn't USDA certified organic farmers be able to
be insured for the full value of their crops?
Finally, is it a common practice to destroy the field before the weeds go to
This has been the practice of conventional and organic farmers for many
decades. What are seeking regarding crop insurance in asking this question?
certified organic farmer, Iowa
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