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2019 NCIS
Agronomic Research Results
By Drs. Mark Zarnstorff and James Houx, NCIS

For more than 90 years, National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) and its predecessor organizations have conducted research on growing crops. Updates to, or new loss adjustment
procedures originate from the NCIS Agriculture Research program, under the direction of
the NCIS Board of Directors. The projects are
conducted at university experiment stations
and agricultural colleges across the United
States, as well as some locations in Canada. Research projects are typically conducted at least
three years; however, if for some reason the results cannot be obtained for one or more years,
the project may be extended.
To understand the crops and appraisal
methods that need to be researched, NCIS relies on company field adjusters, claims supervisors, and university researchers for advice.
The NCIS research program then focuses on
designing experiments that will result in data
to create up-to-date, consistent, and timely loss
adjustment procedures. NCIS currently has 15
research projects across 12 states, from Washington to Ohio, and from Saskatchewan, Canada, to Texas.
In 2019, NCIS performed research on canola, corn, grain sorghum, industrial hemp, peanut, popcorn, potato, sugar beet, sweet corn,
and wheat. The results are summarized below
and are preliminary. It is important that these
results are not used exclusively, but combined
with results from previous years' research, and
any subsequent evaluations, to provide the best
loss adjustment procedures for NCIS members.

CANOLA
Kansas
2019 was the final year of a three-year MPCI
project to develop a method to predict canola
16

THIRDQUARTER2020

grain yield prior to seed maturity. Researchers at
Kansas State University in Manhattan took more
than 30,000 measurements on 38 growth and
yield variables tracking the whole-plant, pod,

and seed development characteristics during the
growing season. Despite this large dataset, no
in-season measurements were able to consistently predict end-of-season yield. The poor predic-

TABLE 1

Effect of Multiple Defoliation Events on Corn Production
Minnesota-2 Year Average
	

Stage of 50% Defoliation	

Loss (%)

			
	1st Defoliation	 2nd Defoliation	
Appraised	 Measured	
Difference	

	 10-Leaf	 -	
	 15-Leaf	
-	
	
Blister	 -	
	
Milk	 -	
	 Soft Dough	-	
	 10-Leaf	Blister	
	 10-Leaf	
Milk	
	 10-Leaf	
Soft Dough	
	 15-Leaf	Blister	
	 15-Leaf	 Milk	
	 15-Leaf	
Soft Dough	

Significantly
Different?

6	9	 3	 No
15	22	 7	 Yes
22	20	 -2	 No
18	21	 3	 No
12	 20	 8	 Yes
25	 26	 1	 No
22	28	 6	 No
16	
21	
5	
No
28	 36	 8	 Yes
26	38	 12	 Yes
22	
31	
9	
Yes


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