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Navigating DON corn insurance claims

Navigating DON corn insurance claims

Agricorp production insurance customers can move forward with crop destruction

Staff Writer
High levels of DON in corn crops have Ontario producers concerned about potential coverage.
As of Nov. 2, 8,581 Agricorp customers with roughly 1.6 million acres of corn are covered under the company’s Production Insurance, a Friday agency update said. As of one day earlier, farmers had filed 880 DON damage reports in the 2018 season. Middlesex, Elgin, Huron and Lambton counties had the greatest damage to crops. 
This year’s harvest has forced many growers to make difficult decisions regarding their businesses and their crops. Those farmers who are in the midst of harvest and are worried about DON levels can consult Agricorp to assist with a Production Insurance claim investigation, a Wednesday organization update said. 
Producers must take representative samples to support a claim. DON levels vary by region and field, so farmers must record representative samples from loads, fields and bins. Information about taking samples can be found here
Farmers also need to complete a DON level test to support a claim. Elevator operators can test representative samples for DON, and growers can find more options here.  
Producers must try to market their corn crops to assist with claims, as markets for DON levels can fluctuate daily. Further, elevator operators need to understand DON levels to determine purchase strategies or develop alternative options.
Growers need to provide evidence of unmarketable crops in the claim process. Agricorp customers must show efforts to market the affected corn. While the current policy requires two rejection letters to continue in the claim process, it may change due to market differences across regions. 
“For example, producers in northern Ontario may have fewer options to market their corn than producers in southwestern Ontario. Agricorp acknowledges that each situation is unique, and may review on a case-by-case basis,” the report said.
If possible, farmers can dry and store the crop to help with the claim. Agricorp will keep claims open for growers who choose to store their corn while they try to market, until it is decided if a market exists and final yields are determined. 
Regardless if a production insurance customer can store a crop with DON or not, they must follow up with Agricorp. If a grower is unable to store his or her crop, Agricorp will assign a zero yield to it and confirm the grower’s choice to destroy the crop.
“For Production Insurance, Agricorp will assign a zero yield to any corn destroyed due to DON. Agricorp recommends following OMAFRA's best management practices for destroying corn to reduce impacts, including volunteer corn in 2019,” the report said. 
Agricorp anticipates corn yields to exceed average amounts, another Wednesday agency update said. These higher yields have the potential to offset low-yielding crops affected by DON, meaning the producer may not trigger a production insurance claim payment. 
Agricorp asks that customers provide updates on their crops through harvest. has reached out grain elevator operators for comment. 
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