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John and Chris Kemp

John and Chris Kremp

A Step Ahead of Disaster

By Joann Pipkin
Allie Irwin is the Kremps FCS Financial crop insurance agent

John Kremp has learned to sleep a little better at night knowing his crop insurance has his back. 

The Lamar, Missouri, row crop and cattle farmer added the management tool to his operation back in 2000. When his soybeans frosted in September of that year, he knew his investment paid off. Year in and year out, crop insurance helps him know that if a disaster comes his way, he won’t lose everything. 

“2011 was a dry year,” Kremp recalls. “(Crop insurance) paid on every acre when we burned up. It’s not as good as having a crop, but it’s sure a lot better than nothing. And, the replant option helps, too.” 

Kremp, who got his start in farming on 80 acres when he was still in high school, raises corn, soybeans and wheat northeast of Lamar, Missouri, in Barton, Jasper and Dade counties. He also has a commercial cow/calf operation. Kremp’s family includes wife, Chris; daughters Emily, 22; Erin, 18; son, Joe, 17; and foreign exchange student Khrystyna Dmytryshyn, 16, from Ukraine.  A nephew, Jonathan Wilson, helps some on the farm. 

Conventional tillage, working the ground once followed by anhydrous application and field cultivator before planting, is Kremp’s management strategy for corn. Soybeans are no-tilled following wheat. Building waterways and terraces help with Kremp’s conservation efforts and reduce erosion.

“We’re farming more and more, and it just costs too much to plant a crop (to be without crop insurance),” Kremp explains. 

This year has been challenging for crop producers across the state, and Kremp is no exception. 

“Everything we did was late,” he says. “Seemed like we started planting corn when we should have been done.”

With corn planting not finished until the end of May, Kremp says a lot of that had to be replanted. Soybeans weren’t in the ground until July 18. While harvest is complete, the grower says it was a long time coming.

“It rained all the time,” Kremp says. “Dry a day or two and then rain. And, you’d wait three or four to dry out. Then, you’d get another day or two and that’s pretty much it.”

Still, better late than never turned out a decent crop for Kremp.

Amid all the weather and marketing challenges growers like Kremp face, the veteran farmer simply likes being his own boss, planting a crop and watching it grow. And, he says the farm is a great place to raise kids. 

Kremp works with Allie Irwin through FCS Financial’s Nevada, Missouri, office. 

“(FCS Financial) really works hard on developing a relationship with you,” says Kremp’s wife, Chris. “They call, they come out. They really work hard on building a relationship with the business-end of the farmer. And, they understand what we’re saying.” 

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