Crop Insurance Today Fourth Quarter 2020 - 1

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" For the Want of a Nail "
The Crescendo

(Fourth in a Four-Part Series)
Tom Zacharias, NCIS President

It is safe to say
that 2020 has been a series
of battles, starting with
the onset of the pandemic.
So, as we have run the
course in 2020, we find our
ability to win these
battles is tied to our focus
on the task at hand,
getting the details right,
making sure the " nails "
are fastened securely,
the " riders " are safe, and the
" message " is delivered and
the battle is won.

This is the fourth and final installment of our
four-part series titled " For the Want of a Nail. "
In each preceding issue, we have begun with the
proverb as put to song by Todd Rundgren. The
" proverb of the nail " can also be found in various
other outlets, including: John Gower (first English
version, late 14th century); Ben Franklin (Poor
Richard's Almanac, 1758); and, Mary Robinette
Kowal (Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2010).
So, for the last time, here we go...

the rear-view mirror, a year of prevented planting
losses and unfavorable prices. There were high expectations for the new year. As the song goes, " ...I
had plans so big... " Initial planting conditions in
2020 were extremely favorable and corn and soybean crops were planted well ahead of the 2019
season as well as the most recent five-year averages.  All things considered the 2020 season was
off to a good start. The nails, the shoes, the horses,
and the riders all appeared to be well-positioned.

" The Want of a Nail "
" ...	For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
	 For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
	 For want of a horse the rider was lost.
	 For want of a rider the message was lost.
	 For want of a message the battle was lost.
	 For want of the battle the war was lost.
	 For want of the war the kingdom was lost "

The Pandemic

We have used the metaphor of the " nail " to
illustrate how highly dependent crop insurance
is upon people working together, people understanding the importance of attention to detail,
and understanding the consequences of failing to
work together and failing to pay attention to details. 2020 has been a perfect example of the importance of getting things nailed down correctly.

Where We Started

Coming into 2020, the industry, along with
the farm community, was relieved to see 2019 in

Heightened response to the COVID-19 pandemic coincided roughly with the March 16 Sales
Closing Date (SCD). For NCIS, the Kansas City
metro area was placed under a state of emergency
on March 12. Out of an abundance of caution for
the health and safety of the NCIS staff, NCIS offices closed March 13 and staff began working from
home on Monday, March 16. It was the end of that
week that the AIPs and RMA instituted a series
of COVID-19 response conference calls to discuss
and work through the issues associated with delivering and administering crop insurance in the
face of the pandemic. Since mid-March, RMA
has issued 12 Managers Bulletins and related
guidance directives to help ensure that the delivery system was able to effectively function in this
environment. This was an interactive/grass roots
process. NCIS has solicited questions each week
Continued on page 28

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Crop Insurance Today Fourth Quarter 2020

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