"It becomes a question of whether a farmer would have more net income from taking the prevented planting payment, or whether they would be better off to go ahead and plant even though they would expect to have a reduced yield," Patrick said. "So part of it would come down to what costs already have been incurred, and what additional costs would come with going ahead and trying to produce a crop. Producers need to work through the potential costs and returns on both sides."

One of the major costs farmers would need to consider would be fertilizer. If nitrogen already has been applied, it creates a much different situation from that of a farmer who has not yet applied fertilizer.

"If most of the inputs are still in the shed, farmers are probably more likely to have higher returns with prevented planting," Patrick said. "However, if everything but the seed is already in the field, farmers may find they are better off planting."

Patrick also said it's important to note that if a producer does take a prevented planting payment, their historical yield average, or APH, will use the 60 percent yield for 2011.

Farmers who choose a prevented planting payment may be required to plant a cover crop. Producers need to remember that in order to receive a prevented planting payment, cover crops cannot be grazed or used as a forage crop.

"The bottom line is that the crop insurance provisions are pretty specific in a number of instances, so farmers need to work with their crop insurance agents to make sure they are doing everything they need to in order to comply," Patrick said. "Working with an agent will help ensure producers don't run into problems with collecting on an indemnity to which they are entitled."