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Published March 04, 2013, 11:07 AM

Crop insurance prices released

Wheat and soybean prices are higher than a year ago.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

The prices at which area farmers can insure most of their 2013 crops under revenue and yield protection policies have been released.

Wheat and corn prices are higher than a year ago, though the corn price dipped slightly.

March 15 is the deadline for purchasing or modifying crop insurance for spring-planted crops this growing season. For crop insurance purposes, the price of most of the crops was determined by prices in February.

Here are the 2013 prices in the Upper Midwest for the region’s three major crops, according to Dan Weber, a Casselton, N.D., insurance agent, who talked with Agweek Monday morning.

•Corn — $5.65 per bushel, down from $5.68 per bushel a year ago. The record price was $6.01 per bushel in 2011, says Andy Swenson, North Dakota State University extension service farm management specialist.

Corn prices dipped in the second half of February this year, which brought down the 2013 crop insurance price for corn, Weber says.

•Wheat — $8.44 per bushel, up from $7.84 per bushel a year ago. The record price was $11.11 per bushel in 2008, Swenson says.

•Soybeans — $12.87 per bushel, up from $12.55 per bushel a year ago. The record price was $13.49 in 2011, Swenson says.

The 2013 prices for corn, wheat and soybeans are all the third-highest on record, Swenson says.

February is used to calculate each year’s crop insurance prices because it provides the most current prices relative to the upcoming harvest.

Typically, farmers wait until the crop insurance prices are set in early March and then begin working with their agents to finalize their crop insurance decisions. March 11 to 15 is particularly busy for agents.

Weber says he understand why farmers wait as long as possible.

In the first half of March, crop insurance agents “are burning the candle at both ends. But there are only so many hours in the day,” says Steve Becher, executive director of Professional Insurance Agents of North Dakota.

He advises ag producers to begin working with their agents as soon as possible.

More information on crop insurance prices for 2013 can be found on the website of the Risk Management Agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.