As an agent and farmer, Nathan Kohls sees the value of FMH Precision Crop Insurance Solutions™ from beginning to end.
Kohls farms on a 4th-generation family farm in Clearwater, Kansas, raising primarily wheat, double-crop grain sorghum, soybeans, and corn. He utilizes precision ag technology to help him make decisions about his operation.
“I believe precision ag and variable rate fertility and seeding is the future on our variable soils in south central Kansas. We should be able to be make ourselves more efficient by placing inputs where they can be used and backing them off where they will likely not be utilized,” he said.
Kohls also sells crop insurance with Terra Financial Inc. and has been utilizing Precision Solutions to not only improve his agency processes but to drive efficiency in the office.
“Precision reporting for insurance is a natural extension of this technology,” he added. “It also makes us more efficient by reporting the correct acres and increasing APH’s over time. It also saves time reporting and should reduce errors both for the farmer and agent.”
Kohls’ unique perspective as a farmer and agent led him to be invited to speak at the Farm Progress Tech Forum last November to an audience full of like-minded growers. He spoke about his experience with FMH Precision Solutions and how reporting acres with precision data has improved the accuracy of his insurance coverage.
His presentation outlined how Automated Crop Reporting (ACR) works from a grower’s perspective, and he also provided an example of the increased accuracy in his reporting.
He explained that, in his 2018 acreage report, he averaged 4.3 percent fewer acres by using precision data versus FSA data. To break that down, he showed that 4.3 percent of 1000 acres equals 43 acres, which, at $6.00 an acre for premium, comes out to $260 he was overpaying on his premium due to inaccurate data.
He also explained that not only was he overpaying on his premium, he was “watering down” his APH, which can also add up over time and affect his claim payments.
Kohls’ personal experience with Precision Solutions helps him discuss the benefits with his crop insurance customers.
“As an agent, the primary benefit I see to offering Precision Solutions is increased reporting accuracy for my customers. Using the precision maps is one more check that acres were not missed or misreported,” he said. “As a secondary benefit, they should see the same premium and APH benefits we’ve seen. I also like that I can offer precision as something to differentiate my agency from many others that can’t or don’t offer that service.”
He is looking forward to utilizing Precision Solutions for his own production reporting, where he hopes the process will save valuable time during harvest.
“Precision production reporting is the next thing we will look at, which should speed up harvest if we can eliminate hauling separate loads to the elevator as we finish harvest on each unit,” he said.