ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 24 -- The Maryland Department of Agriculture issued the following news release:
The hot, dry weather has threatened much of the Maryland's crops, including corn and soybeans. Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Earl "Buddy" Hance offers reminders for producers who may have a loss on an insured crop.
"This summer's lack of rainfall has left many areas of the State with rainfall and soil moisture deficits that are impacting agricultural crops significantly," said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. "I encourage farmers to contact their crop insurance agent to understand claim filing requirements and to take advantage of MDA's free testing service for grain that may be affected by drought-related toxins."
If you have a potential crop loss, notify your crop insurance agent immediately. You are responsible for notifying your agent within 72 hours of discovering crop damage; continuing to care for the crop as you normally would and getting permission from the insurance company before destroying any of the crop.
Your crop insurance company can explain your options. If you don't plan to take your corn or soybean crop to harvest, talk to your insurance company before taking action. In many cases, it may be too early to accurately appraise the crop. Producers considering cutting their corn for silage, or tearing up a corn crop to plant soybeans should discuss this with their insurance company. For acreage not being harvested, the company can establish representative strips. These strips must be maintained and will be used to establish yield. Corn insured for silage is handled differently than corn insured as grain. Consult with your company before proceeding. In times of loss, your crop insurance agent should be your first contact. The agent and insurance company know your policy and can help you through the claims process.
During the 2011 disasters, with hurricanes and drought, insurance companies were able to pay producers timely who were suffering from crop losses. Maryland has over 911,000 acres insured with crop insurance providing over $398 million of protection.
Free Grain/Forage Testing for Drought-Affected Crops
MDA is encouraging all farmers who use fertilizers containing nitrate on their corn and sudan-sorghum grasses, or who are concerned that the corn grain may have mold to work closely with their county extension agents before feeding it to their animals. MDA's State Chemist Section is offering testing through the University of Maryland Extension Offices for aflatoxins, nitrates and prussic acid, which may be present in grain and forage. These compounds, which can sicken or be deadly to livestock, or even affect pregnancies, are often present in dry weather conditions. A sample information sheet can be found on the MDA web site as to the amount, storage and how to obtain a representative sample. To find a local extension office, visit www.extension.umd.edu. For grain sampling instructions and a submission form, log onto www.mda.maryland.gov/pdf/silage_sampling.pdf.
TNS MT93 120725-3964549 61MarlizTagarum