The Importance of Purchasing and Properly Structuring Crop Insurance.
Since record-keeping began in 1851, the daily probability for a named storm being present in the Atlantic Basin peaks on September 10th has been high. While that day has come and gone, and the state’s agricultural interests dodged a bullet in Hurricane Dorian the Atlantic hurricane season does not end until November 30th – making now a good time to talk about the merits of crop insurance as a tool for mitigating risk.

In this blog post, we review the compelling set of rationale for purchasing crop insurance but also dive further, into some new analysis of RMA’s actuarial data that may help growers optimize the structure and level of coverage of insurance for their operation. 

The rationale for purchasing crop insurance has never been stronger given 1) currently low levels of farm liquidity, 2) greater variability in weather and 3) the fact that a growing share of federal support to agriculture is being delivered in the form of crop insurance.

While this analysis hopefully provides some useful food for thought, it is in no way a substitute for the more holistic considerations that should be discussed between growers and their crop insurance agents. In fact, the most important takeaway from this analysis should not be any kind of hard and fast conclusion on what kind of policy type or coverage level is “best”. Instead, it should demonstrate that in the realm of crop insurance, data abounds, and that a crop insurance agent making a policy recommendation should be able to back it up with a strong empirical argument.
When Anxiety Strikes on the Farm
There’s a conversation happening more often lately about something that’s come up closer to the surface but has always been circulating underneath. It’s the public discussion about farmer anxiety and mental health.

Farmers have long dealt with anxiety tied to the uncertainty we face in this profession of farming. Some have learned effective ways to cope along the path of their farming career. Others are struggling. Still, others may be early on in their career and hadn’t yet encountered an extremely challenging year. 

As we continue into the harvest season, stress and anxiety can easily escalate during the long hours. Here are a few simple but IMPORTANT tips on keeping your head up throughout the season.
Estimating Soybean Yields 
As the end of the season draws near we’ve gotten some questions about estimating soybean yields. For some, this is because their crop looks good and they are excited to see what their yields may be, while for others this is because they are prepping themselves for disappointment, as weeks of dry weather have taken a toll on the crop.

Regardless of the reason, soybean yield is notoriously difficult to predict. Soybeans have the unique ability to compensate for stresses and there is also a great deal of variability from plant to plant making predictions difficult. Continue here to see how and when to make the best yield estimates. 
Fall Armyworm Infestations Widespread in Southeastern North Carolina
During the past few days, NCSU Entomology & Plant Pathology has had a major increase of caterpillar defoliation reports in soybeans and sweet potato from southeastern NC counties. Field visits south of Highway 70 and east of I-95 confirmed that fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) infestations are widespread. In soybean, significant defoliation and pod feeding has occurred in multiple fields. In sweet potato, several growers have reported significant defoliation and direct root feeding.

Continue here to see what you need to be looking for and how to treat fall armyworms in both soybeans and sweet potatoes. 
Executive Farm Management Program
Strengthen your skills. Grow your family business.
The Executive Farm Management program is an exciting new program offered by NCSU CALS and its partners; NC State Cooperative Extension Service, Poole College of Management, Clemson Cooperative Extension, ECU College of Business and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

EFM offers a highly facilitated learning environment which draws upon custom
content presented in an interactive, team-based format. Limited participant
size allows for one-on-one coaching, designed to meet the specialized needs
of Southeastern farmers like you.

The program is created exclusively for large, commercial, family-owned operations across the Southeast who grow, pack and/or process tobacco, fruit and/or vegetables. The program consists of 12-days of content and curriculum taught across 3 sessions in 3 states over the course of 6-weeks. EFM is designed to increase the management competencies and profitability of specialty farms across the Southeast, by utilizing a holistic operation-focused curriculum.

Course topics include; Strategic Planning, Human Resource Management, Labor Management, Financial Management, Risk Management, Family Business Issues, Assessing Markets, Supply Chain Management, Brand Management and Marketing, Assessing and Building Key Partnerships and Strengthening an Operation’s Value Proposition, among others.

Read more at:
ASA & BASF Soy Scholarship
The American Soybean Association (ASA) wants to recognize an outstanding high school senior interested in pursuing agriculture by presenting them with a scholarship.

The Soy Scholarship is a $5,000 one-time award presented to a high school senior who plans to pursue agriculture as an area of study at any accredited college or university during the 2020-21 academic year. The scholarship is managed by ASA and made possible through a grant by BASF Corporation. High school seniors may apply online Oct. 7-Dec. 1, 2019.

“We are grateful to our partner BASF for continuing to support future agriculture leaders,” ASA President Davie Stephens said. “Investing in talented students who are pursuing careers in ag provides tools to help them achieve their goals and ensures the future of our industry.”

ASA and BASF have recognized students for their hard work and interest in agriculture through the Soy Scholarship since 2008.

“Educating our next generation is key to the future of agriculture. BASF is proud to partner with ASA to award scholarships to students who want to pursue a career in agriculture and aspire to drive our industry forward,” said Scott Kay, vice president of U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions.

The scholarship is awarded in $2,500 increments (one per semester) for the 2020-21-school year. The student must maintain successful academic progress and be in good standing with the college or university to receive the full scholarship amount.

Final selection will be made at the beginning of January by a committee of soybean grower-leaders. The student will be notified by mid-January, with an official announcement to follow and a presentation scheduled in the spring. Click here for more details.
Download the NC Soybean App
The NC Soybeans App is officially up on the Apple Store and on Google play. The NC Soybean Producers Association's app helps farmers stay informed about soybean production in the state. The app includes the NC Soybean Production Guide, the NC Soybean Scouting Guide, links to grower resources, social media channels, blogs, commodity prices, chemical classification, insect threshold calculators, and more- all in one place! This app allows soybean farmers to quickly and easily get all the info they need about soybean production on the go! Just look for the soybean leaf icon when you are in the apple store/google play! You can also download the app through these links.
Apple Store  
Google Play
NCSPA Staff & Contractors
Owen Wagner, Chief Executive Officer
Ashley Thomas, Mgr. of Grower & Legislative Relations
Beth Holleman, Accounts Manager
Katherine Drake Stowe, Research Coordinator
Laura Rogers, Outreach Education Coordinator
Copyright © 2019 North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, All rights reserved.

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