Soybean Farmers Urged to Sample Supplies, Make Insurance Claims Now

Damaged soybeans stored this year need protection now to cover next season

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) urges farmers to closely monitor the quality of soybeans being sold and stored and to work closely with insurance professionals to mitigate additional financial losses caused by crop quality concerns.

“The prospects of a bountiful crop have been tempered by challenging field conditions, splitting pods and seed sprouting,” says Robb Ewoldt, a soybean farmer from Davenport. “But we’ll work through them. We always find a way.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) advises farmers to file a notice of loss with their insurance agent within 72 hours of initial discovery of the damage. The claim can be made no later than 15 days after the end of the insurance period — crop destruction, crop harvest, or Dec. 10, whichever is earliest.

Additionally, USDA-RMA reminds Iowa farmers that the deadline to apply for crop insurance or make changes to their policies is Nov. 20.

Terry Taiber, an independent crop insurance agent in Urbandale, strongly encourages farmers to visit with their insurance teams and file a claim. He says insurance companies will pay when more than 8 percent of a delivery is declared damaged.

“Claims must be filed this fall,” asserted Taiber. “If an 8-percent damage level is a possibility, a claim should be submitted.”

Salvage buyers will purchase soybeans with damage as high as 30 percent but at extremely low prices. Taiber says insurance companies will work with farmers in those situations, too.

Ewoldt, an ISA District 6 director, began sampling after hearing his buyer stopped purchasing soybeans with more than 5 percent damage. He urges other farmers to do the same.

“Even with a 5-percent damage tolerance, my buyer said there are not enough good beans available for full loads to the Gulf of Mexico. It costs too much for buyers to send a bad barge of beans, both financially and reputationally,” he says. “Good beans are in short supply because most farmers seem to be storing instead of selling. I’ve got 15,000 bushels in the bin so I don’t know what 5 percent damage looks like.

“Be sure to sample your soybeans, talk with adjusters and make your claims now so they can be completed by Dec. 10,” Ewoldt advises. “Doing so will allow yourself options next spring.”

Funded by the soybean checkoff

The Iowa Soybean Association ( develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 40,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 22 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.