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  • MAY 2015 • VOL. 48, NO. 2

    P U B L I C A T I O N O F N A T I O N A L C R O P I N S U R A N C E S E R V I C E S ®

    Florida Hosts Industry Leaders

    2014 Year In Review

  • Introducing RCIS Mobile™

    Essential crop insurance information on the go from your Android or iOS mobile device

    Convenient, one-stop access to policyholder, coverage, and claims information from the fi eld. We know you want to be as productive in the fi eld as you are from your offi ce. That’s why at RCIS, we worked with agents to develop the robust RCIS Mobile app. It harnesses the information and services agents use most into a single, easy-to-use tool for mobile devices. Our one-stop application helps RCIS agents provide better customer service outside the offi ce. Available on Android and iOS.

    To learn more, visit RCIS.com.

    Rural Community Insurance Agency, Inc., D/B/A RCIS. RCIS is an equal opportunity provider. © 2015 Rural Community Insurance Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. WCS-1226580

    WCS-1226580-RCIS-Crop-Insurance-Today-Mag-12-14.indd 1 1/7/15 2:57 PM

  • Introducing RCIS Mobile™

    Essential crop insurance information on the go from your Android or iOS mobile device

    Convenient, one-stop access to policyholder, coverage, and claims information from the fi eld. We know you want to be as productive in the fi eld as you are from your offi ce. That’s why at RCIS, we worked with agents to develop the robust RCIS Mobile app. It harnesses the information and services agents use most into a single, easy-to-use tool for mobile devices. Our one-stop application helps RCIS agents provide better customer service outside the offi ce. Available on Android and iOS.

    To learn more, visit RCIS.com.

    Rural Community Insurance Agency, Inc., D/B/A RCIS. RCIS is an equal opportunity provider. © 2015 Rural Community Insurance Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. WCS-1226580

    WCS-1226580-RCIS-Crop-Insurance-Today-Mag-12-14.indd 1 1/7/15 2:57 PM

    In the February 25, 2015, New York Times daily briefing, there was a short piece about the Legos toy company.  According to the article, Legos experienced a 13 percent increase in revenue and 15 percent increase in net profit for 2014. Legos now rival both Mattel and Fisher Price toy companies. Not too shabby. The article went on a bit further to provide an abbreviated history of the Legos enterprise.

    The Legos company name is actually an abbrevi- ation of the Danish words “leg godt” meaning “play well.” Legos started out in Denmark in 1932 building wooden toys by a carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen. The new, ubiquitous plastic interlocking toy bricks came later. Legos have been used to construct a min- iature Brooklyn Bridge as well as a full-scale model of the Star Wars X-Wing Fighter. (How cool is that?)

    Hmmmmmm... lots of critical interlocking pieces and playing well. Anything we can glean from this?

    Lots of Interlocking Pieces and Playing Well The crop insurance industry is a highly interconnected and sophisticated risk management

    system for today’s modern farmer.  Historically, hail coverage to growing crops has been avail- able in the United States since the late 1800s. As we have written in this publication on more than one occasion, the Federal Crop Insurance Act of 1938 first introduced crop insurance on a wide-scale basis to protect farmers from disasters out of their control. After more than 75 years and the introduction of the private-sector and additional crops and liability protected, we can fast forward to the 2014 Farm Bill where crop insurance is now the centerpiece of the farm safety net. 

    Today’s crop insurance system is characterized as a public-private partnership. Included in that partnership is the USDA’s Risk Management Agency representing more than 450 employ- ees and the private sector delivery system, represented by approximately 20,000 individuals, primarily state-licensed crop insurance agents, but also including more than 5,000 profession- ally certified loss adjustment specialists. Both RMA/ USDA employees, and their private sector counterparts, are responsible for delivering the most comprehensive crop insurance system in the world. 

    In terms of participation, in 2014 there were 295 million acres insured, representing approx- imately $110 billion in liability and 90 percent of insurable acres. Including Federally-reinsured and state-regulated Crop-Hail coverage, the liability of the U.S. crop insurance industry was approximately $150 billion of crop insurance protection for U.S. farmers.

    For the Federally reinsured book of business, more than 80 percent of insured acres had

    Laurie Langstraat, Editor

    TODAY® IS PROVIDED AS A SERVICE OF NATIONAL CROP INSURANCE SERVICES® TO EDUCATE READERS ABOUT THE RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS PRODUCERS USE

    TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH

    PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE.

    TODAY is published quarterly–February, May, August, and November by

    National Crop Insurance Services

    8900 Indian Creek Parkway, Suite 600 Overland Park, Kansas 66210

    www.ag-risk.org

    If you move, or if your address is incorrect, please send old address label clipped from recent issue

    along with your new or corrected address to Donna Bryan, at the above address.

    NCIS® EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Tim Weber, Chairman

    Mike Day, Vice Chairman Jim Korin, Second Vice Chairman

    NCIS® MANAGEMENT Thomas P. Zacharias, President

    Charles Lee, General Counsel James M. Crist, CFO/COO

    Sherri Scharff, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff

    Troy Brady, Senior Vice President Frank Schnapp, Senior Vice President

    Mike Sieben, Senior Vice President

    Creative Layout and Design by Graphic Arts of Topeka, Inc., Kansas

    TODAY PRESIDENT’SMESSAGE

    Printed on recycled paper. Printed with Environmentally friendly vegetable oil based inks.

    Continued on page 28

    Tom Zacharias, NCIS President

    “Leg Godt,” or as the Danes would say, “Play Well” (Legos and Crop Insurance)

    CROPINSURANCE TODAY® 1

  • Table of Contents

    4

    VOL. 48, NO. 2

    MAY 2015

    Copyright Notice All material distributed by National Crop Insurance Services is protected by copyright and other laws. All rights reserved. Possession of this material does not confer the right to print, reprint, publish, copy, input, transform, distribute or use same in any manner without the prior written permission of NCIS. Permission is hereby granted to Members in good standing of NCIS whose Membership Class (and service area, if membership is limited by service area) entitles them to receive copies of the enclosed or attached material to reprint, copy or distribute such NCIS copyrighted material in its present form solely for their own business use and solely to employees, adjusters or agents who are under contract with them, and as a condition to receiving such copies, such employees, adjusters and agents agree that they will not reprint, copy or distribute, or permit use of any such NCIS copyrighted material to or by any other person and/or company, or transform into another work such NCIS copyrighted material, without prior written permission of NCIS. © 2015 National Crop Insurance Services, Inc.

    www.cropinsuranceinamerica.org ••••••••••••••• Visit •••••••••••••••

    43

    24

    Review

    1 “Leg Godt,” or as the Danes would say, “Play Well” (Legos and Crop Insurance)

    4 2014 Year in Review

    24 Florida Hosts Industry Leaders

    30 Four Presented with Industry Awards

    33 Dean Benson Receives Outstanding Service Award

    36 Jeff Meyer Receives NCIS Industry Leadership Award

    38 NCIS Hosts Committee Leaders

    43 Crop Insurance in Action Kiodette and Rich Stroh, Powell, Wyoming

  • ProAg® is an equal opportunity provider. A subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. ©2015 ProAg.

  • CropInsurance TODAY

    Overview The 2014 year was another successful demonstration of sales and

    service for the crop insurance industry. Yet, the year turned out to be frustrating in several aspects. After two successive years of gross losses (indemnities exceeding premiums), the natural expectation was for a return to fewer losses and more normal returns. But that was not to be, as lower crop prices and pockets of production losses pushed the gross loss ratio to 0.89, the fourth highest in the past decade. (Unless indicated otherwise, data in this article are as of April 20, 2015.)

    The 2013/14 winter featured extended periods of extreme cold. While many areas had adequate precipitation, cold and variable tem- peratures, wind, periods of inadequate snow covering and dryness hurt the 2014 winter wheat crop, which declined 11 percent from 2013. Spring was slow to come, and planting delays occurred in the Northern tier of states. Later in the spring and during the summer while California suffered, weather generally cooperated elsewhere, and much of the nation had a more favorable growing season.

    Corn and soybeans consistently had high ratings of “good” to “excellent” throughout the summer and into the fall, and produc- tion of many crops was up in 2014. Corn yield and production set record highs. With soybean planted area up as corn area contracted, soybeans, too, featured record highs for yield and production. Other

    oilseeds also sa