Popular QuestionsPopular Questions about South Dakota Farm Insurance

What is farm insurance and why is it important in South Dakota?

If a tornado destroys your crops or an extended drought causes large financial losses, farm insurance can help ensure that your agricultural business stays financially secure.

Farm insurance can provide you with liability and property coverage for your South Dakota farm:

  • Liability insurance: This covers court costs, legal fees, and damages for injuries to others for which your farm may be held responsible. From business liability lawsuits to commercial vehicle liability lawsuits, your farm insurance has you covered.
  • Property insurance: This covers farm property such as farm structures and their contents, machinery, equipment, and even livestock, though more specialized livestock coverage may be a good idea for some farmers.

There are nearly 32,000 farms covering 43.3 million acres of land in the state of South Dakota. The combined market value of all agricultural products (including livestock and poultry) sold in this state exceeds $10 billion a year.

Unfortunately, all this valuable farmland can be subject to destruction by forces beyond your control. 

In addition to the coverage offered by your farm insurance policy, you may want to purchase additional coverage by also purchasing a supplementary crop insurance and/or livestock insurance policy.

Is farm insurance required in South Dakota?

Farm insurance is not required by law, but if you have business loans or are paying a mortgage on your farm property, your lenders will probably require that you carry this coverage.

For most farmers, their farm is their livelihood, and a major disaster could have devastating financial ramifications. A solid farm insurance policy will help you to stay afloat if you suffer loss of your crops, damage to expensive farm equipment, or destruction of farm structures such as barns due to a severe weather event or an accidental fire.

A local independent insurance agent can help you build a farm insurance policy that will cover your South Dakota farm against all of its various exposures so that your farmland can remain a profitable investment for you and your family.

Does South Dakota farm insurance cover damage to crops?

A standard farm insurance policy will not cover damage to your crops. Fortunately, you can opt to purchase a crop insurance rider or a supplementary crop insurance policy in order to get this coverage.

Crop insurance is a government-backed insurance product managed by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), which falls under the US Department of Agriculture. It is designed to cover crop damage and the resultant loss of income this damage can cause.

It is important to note that farmers who forgo crop insurance are not eligible for other federal disaster benefits, so this coverage can prove vital to the financial well-being of your farm.

Crop insurance includes three different types of coverage:

  • Crop-hail coverage: This covers your losses if your crops are damaged by hail. This coverage can be purchased at any point during the growing season.
  • Multiple peril crop coverage:  This covers your losses if your crops are damaged by hazards such as severe weather, diseases, droughts, fires, floods, and insect infestations. You may be limited on what types of crops you can purchase coverage for. This coverage must be purchased before your crops are planted.
  • Crop revenue coverage: This covers your losses if the growing season results in a low crop  yield or if the market price of your crops drops to levels that are significantly lower than what was expected. This coverage was strengthened by the enactment of the 2014 Farm Bill.

You may opt to purchase any or all of these coverage types while building your  South Dakota farm insurance coverage package.

Does farm insurance in South Dakota cover problems with livestock?

Livestock is considered property under farm insurance. However, if you just go with the basic livestock coverage offered by these policies, you may find it is somewhat limited. To get full coverage, you can opt to purchase a livestock insurance rider or a supplementary livestock insurance policy.

Livestock insurance is designed to cover incidents that result in the loss of your farm animals. Examples of hazards that are covered include:

  • Attacks by dogs or wild animals (exceptions are frequently made in the case of sheep)
  • Floods, tornadoes, and other severe weather risks
  • Accidents while loading and unloading livestock from vehicles
  • Collisions resulting in death while animals are being transported
  • Accidental electrocution
  • Accidental shootings

Livestock insurance will typically not cover losses when animals die due to disease, old age, or natural causes. However, some insurers will allow you to purchase a livestock mortality rider for certain kinds of animals that does provide coverage against disease-related deaths.

In many cases, insurance companies may offer three ways to purchase your livestock insurance coverage:

  • Individual livestock coverage:  In this case, you are paying for each animal individually. This is a good idea if you have several high-value animals.
  • Blanket livestock coverage: In this case, you would insure all of your farm property, including equipment, structures, and livestock under one coverage umbrella as a single lump-sum amount.
  • Herd livestock coverage: In this case, you would cover all of each type of animal as a herd. You would then indicate how many of each animal you are insuring. This is the option most commonly chosen by farmers who are insuring livestock.

Talk to your local independent insurance agent to learn more about your many options when it comes to livestock insurance coverage.

How much does farm insurance cost in South Dakota?

The cost of farm insurance in South Dakota will vary from farm to farm because rates are dependent on several different factors such as:

  • The size of your farm
  • The types of crops you are insuring
  • Whether you are insuring any animals
  • The inherent weather risks in your area
  • The types of coverage you wish to buy

A local independent insurance agent can help you determine how much coverage you need and can obtain a selection of customized quotes from top-rated insurers so you can be certain that you are getting your South Dakota farm insurance at a competitive rate.

How do I find the best farm insurance in South Dakota?

When you are shopping for farm insurance in South Dakota, you can benefit from working with an experienced independent insurance agent. These local agents can assist you with determining how much coverage you need, the options that are best for you, and which insurance provider offers the coverage you need at the most competitive price.

There are currently 219 independent agents working in the state of South Dakota, and these agents are ready to help. Find an agent near you to learn more about finding the right insurance for your South Dakota farm.

InformationFind Other Insurance Topics in Your State

Insurance companies look at a lot of factors when determining farm insurance costs. One of many factors is location. Farm size, crops grown, and the severe weather events common in your ZIP code can also factor into how much your farm insurance will cost.

How does your city measure up to the state average?

  • South Dakota average number of farms – 696
  • South Dakota average value of crops sold annually - $102.1 Million
  • South Dakota average annual value of livestock/poultry sold annually - $66.2 Million


City (County) Number of Farms in County  Value of Crops Sold Annually Value of Livestock/Poultry Sold Annually
Aberdeen (Brown)                           1,056$462,905,000$57,734,000
Belle Fourche (Butte)                               659$17,320,000$58,030,000
Box Elder (Pennington)                               599$29,599,000$36,148,000
Brandon (Minnehaha)                           1,157$164,228,000$106,020,000
Brookings (Brookings)                           1,023$162,340,000$150,193,000
Canton (Lincoln)                               899$103,441,000$68,824,000
Dell Rapids (Minnehaha)                           1,157$164,228,000$106,020,000
Harrisburg (Lincoln)                               899$103,441,000$68,824,000
Hot Springs (Fall River)                               327$6,474,000$110,384,000
Huron (Beadle)                               754$190,063,000$110,094,000
Lead (Lawrence)                               312$2,424,000$16,628,000
Madison (Lake)                               502$112,379,000$56,455,000
Milbank (Grant)                               618$135,881,000$104,938,000
Mitchell (Davison)                               427$50,170,000$28,618,000
Mobridge (Walworth)                               256$89,049,000$28,789,000
Pierre (Hughes)                               338$87,163,000$20,178,000
Rapid City (Pennington)                               599$29,599,000$36,148,000
Sioux Falls (Minnehaha)                           1,157$164,228,000$106,020,000
Spearfish (Lawrence)                               312$2,424,000$16,628,000
Sturgis (Meade)                               891$25,425,000$91,018,000
Tea (Lincoln)                               899$103,441,000$68,824,000
Vermillion (Clay)                               461$79,678,000$17,149,000
Watertown (Codington)                               713$108,293,000$64,118,000
Yankton (Yankton)                               692$56,866,000$60,560,000

Sioux Falls, SD / Minnehaha County Farm Insurance Cost Factors

Local Crop Values

Sioux Falls is located in South Dakota’s Minnehaha County. On average, this county’s farms grow crops with an annual market value of $164.2 million and raise livestock with an annual market value of $106.0 million. The size, value, and output of your particular farm will dictate how much you are expected to pay for farm insurance coverage.

Weather Hazards in Your Area

Farmers in Minnehaha County are most at risk of their farms being destroyed by floods, severe storms, and tornadoes. While droughts in this area do not pose a huge risk, they have occurred in the past and are likely to happen again the future. These weather risks pose a bigger threat to some crops and animals than to others. That is why what you produce is just as important as how much you produce in determining your farm coverage rates.

Rapid City, SD / Pennington County Farm Insurance Cost Factors

Local Crop Values

Rapid City is located in South Dakota’s northwest farming region in Pennington County. The average farm size in Pennington County is 1,793 acres, with an average value of $699 per acre. Raising  livestock is more abundant in this county than growing crops. Individual farmers will pay varying prices for farm insurance, depending on the size of their farm and what they produce.

Weather Hazards in Your Area

Farms in Pennington are most at risk for damage caused by floods, wildfires, and drought. Farmers in this area must take these risks into account when deciding what kinds of farm insurance coverage they need. They may also have higher premiums than average because of the potential for crop devastation from these types of weather events. 

Aberdeen, SD / Brown County Farm Insurance Cost Factors

Local Crop Values

Aberdeen is located in the heart of South Dakota’s Brown County. Farms here average 1,022 acres in size and have an average value of $2,917 per acre. The cost of insurance for your farm is highly dependent on the size of your property, the types of crops you are growing, and whether you will be insuring livestock. The weather risks in your area also play a large role in what you will be expected to pay for your South Dakota farm insurance.

Weather Hazards in Your Area

Farmers in Brown County must be prepared to ride out floods and severe storms, including hailstorms, which can be devastating to their crops. If you plant crops that are highly susceptible to wind and rain damage, you will need to be sure you have the right type of crop insurance coverage to make sure you can recover from a major weather event. 

Brookings, SD / Brookings County Farm Insurance Cost Factors

Local Farm Values

The average farm size in Brookings County is 439 acres. The 1,023 farms in in this county have an overall average annual crop value of $162.3 million and an average annual livestock value of $150.2 million. While the value of your crops and livestock is an important factor when determining your overall cost for farm insurance, the types of crops you grow and their sensitivity to weather damage also plays a role.

Weather Hazards in Your Area

Crops in Brookings County are most likely to be damaged by occasional severe storms, floods, and droughts that affect this part of the county. Hailstones can also inflict significant damage to farm property, including crops. An independent agent can help you determine the types of coverage you need to protect your farm against weather damage and the other hazards it may face. 

Watertown, SD / Codington County Farm Insurance Cost Factors

Local Farm Values

The 713 farms in Codington County average around 518 acres in size. With an estimated $108.3 million in annual crop value and $64.1 million in annual livestock value, this county’s farms are worth about $2,684 per acre. The actual size of your particular farm, as well as the value of your crops and livestock, will significantly influence how much you will be expected to pay for your South Dakota farm insurance. 

Weather Hazards in Your Area

Codington County experiences frequent severe storms, some of which can produce damaging winds and hail that can wreak havoc on area farms. Because much of this county is in a designated flood zone, farmers must also be aware of the risks posed by potential flood damage. Insurance companies will take into account the location of your farm in relation to the flood map, as well as the goods your farm produces, when calculating your rates for coverage.