U.S. crop insurance coverage hits record high for soybeans

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By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, March 1 (Reuters) – Crop insurance policies that guarantee prices for the 2022 growing season are the highest on record for soybeans and the highest in 11 years for corn and spring wheat, reflecting market demand for crops given the drought in South America. harvest and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a key grain exporter, analysts said.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets guarantees, which act as a floor price below which insured farmers can receive payments, at $14.33 per bushel for soybeans and $5.90 per bushel for corn in most of the US crop belt. Prices reflect the average settlement of Chicago Board of Trade December corn and November soybean futures during the month of February.

Insurance coverage for spring wheat was $9.19, the highest since 2011, based on the average price of Minneapolis Grain Exchange spring wheat futures from September through February.

Insurance coverage for soybeans is up about 21% from $11.87 in 2021 and the price of corn is up 29% from $4.58 last year. High prices should encourage U.S. farmers to plant aggressively, analysts say.

“Given events in South America, the short harvest and the fact that the United States and other major exporters may have to replace interim Black Sea exports by three to five months, this is a year where we’re going to need every acre,” said Rich Feltes, vice president of research at RJ O’Brien.

Grain exporters are looking for alternative sources of wheat and maize as the Russian invasion cuts off supplies from Ukraine, with producers in the European Union, Romania and France being used to cover some nearby shipments, officials said. tradespeople. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and Ukraine is a major corn and wheat shipper.

(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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