By Max Fisher, Director of Economics and Government Relations
In response to reports of weather-induced damage to portions of this year’s U.S. soybean crop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has issued a new Fact Sheet to help affected producers more fully understand the process for filing quality adjustment claims for soybean damage under the federal crop insurance program.
To be eligible for quality adjustment payments, soybeans must grade sample grade or worse. Kernel damage exceeding 8 percent damage is one of the factors that causes soybeans to be sample grade. As referenced in the Fact Sheet, producers should file a notice of loss with their insurance agent within 72 hours of initial discovery of the damage.
According to the U.S. Standards for Soybeans, damaged kernels are defined as: “Soybeans and pieces of soybean that are badly ground-damaged, badly weather-damaged, diseased…mold-damaged…or otherwise materially damaged.”
The RMA fact sheet notes that soybeans qualifying for a quality adjustment also may qualify for a “zero market value” if “there are no buyers willing to purchase the damaged production.” RMA advises that the approved crop insurance provider, along with the insured producer, is required to perform “due diligence” to find a market or salvage market for the damaged production. RMA’s fact sheet also states that approved insurance providers can obtain representative samples from the producers’ fields or work with the producer to harvest representative samples from each field to be submitted for quality determinations.