Wheat prices have risen significantly over the last few months and have caused Tennessee producers to look closely at planting wheat for 2011.

According to Chuck Danehower, a University of Tennessee Extension farm management specialist from Ripley, one of the first decisions wheat producers will need to make is whether to take out crop insurance.

The sales closing date in Tennessee for a Federal crop insurance policy for the 2011 wheat crop is Sept. 30 according to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Barley and oats share the same sales closing date.

Current policyholders as well as uninsured growers must make decisions on crop insurance coverage, especially which crops to insure and which level of coverage to obtain, prior to the sales closing date for that crop. “Even producers who are not sure that they will plant wheat should talk to their crop insurance agent,” says Danehower.

The farm management expert adds that several crop insurance changes have been made for 2011 and choices have been simplified. “Producers who want individual coverage on their farm have three choices: Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, or Revenue Protection Without Harvest Price. With the volatility in prices and the potential for wheat prices to decline by harvest time of next year, the Revenue Protection product looks to offer the best risk management protection,” Danehower said.

Producers should talk to their crop insurance agent for details or visit with their UT Extension Area Specialist-Farm Management. If crop insurance for a crop you grow is not available in your county under the traditional Federal crop insurance program, please ask your agent whether you would be eligible for coverage under a written agreement for insurance on that crop.

A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers throughout the U.S. or on the RMA Web site at the following address: http://www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/.

Because wheat prices are at a level that has not been experienced for several years, a significant increase in planted acres is likely. The USDA says wheat, barley or oat varieties must be adapted to the area in which they are planted in order to be insurable, and supplied of seed may be limited.