PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Wheat and oat farmers have until Sept. 30 to decide on crop insurance policies, select levels of protection and complete and sign applications, says Henry English, director of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).

Sept. 30 is also the cancellation deadline for growers of wheat and oats.

“This is the last date to give written notice to the insurance company if a grower does not want crop insurance for the next year,” says English. “Otherwise, in most cases, the policy will renew automatically for another year.”

English also reminds farmers of the linkage requirement between disaster payments and crop insurance.

Producers, who applied for payments under the Crop Disaster Program (CDP) for losses in 2001 and 2002 on crops that were not insured, must buy crop insurance on their crops for the next two years (2004 and 2005) or face a large penalty.

If crosschecking a producer’s disaster payment records with crop insurance records in 2005 shows a failure to comply with this provision, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will seek to collect reimbursement of the full disaster payment plus interest, says English. And, buying the basic Catastrophe (CAT) level of insurance is not enough to comply with the new regulations.