This I am told all the time that given the level of corn and soybean prices, it will be hard to break even this year, in particular with corn. I am probably the only crop insurance agent in Kentucky who is also a licensed broker, so I am able to advise with this problem.
If you take an RP crop insurance policy at the highest levels, you're probably going to be below your break even should there be a revenue event which causes a crop insurance claim. As I write this the base price for corn is $3.97 and $10.19 for soybeans. This means that given yields which match your APH, you won't trigger a revenue loss until corn reaches $3.38 or soybeans reach $8.66.
A higher floor can be achieved through placing a 3 way option spread on top of your crop insurance policy. An added benefit of this spread is that it is effective regardless of what your yields are. In other words, if you grow 200 bushel corn and the fall price for corn is $3.38, you are not going to collect a crop insurance indemnity but you would have a sizeable gain in your commodity brokerage account.
In the corn and soybean charts below, I have explained the costs for a December three way spread for corn and for July and November spreads for soybeans. The July corn spread was actually more expensive than the December spread, so I did not list that.
On the top right, there is a red horizontal line which marks a ceiling. This shows the maximum price level you can achieve using this strategy because you would sell call options to help reduce the cost of the spread. On the bottom right, the blue horizontal line shows the estimated floors, which also happen to be below the contract lows. This floor was placed here because your crop insurance policy would kick in below this point. This is the put which we sold. The horizontal lines near the center of the page show where the floor is from the options after the cost of the spread is subtracted.
You could remove the call leg of the spread if you want a scenario where you can achieve unlimited prices for your grain, but it would add significantly to the cost of the strategy.....lowering your guaranteed floor. The trade off is that you have a reasonable cost of managing your risk while limiting the upside.
These charts explain the premise for how these strategies help, but the values change every day with the market. The call leg of the spread means that the position is marginable. If/when prices move higher, you will have margin calls. You get the margin back up to what the ceiling price is at expiration however. Believe me, you will profit most if you are having to meet margin calls. You will want margin calls.
This is the kind of strategy where your banker should probably be informed and educated. Share this post with your banker if this strategy appeals to you. I am available to help explain to you or your banker.
If you need a brokerage account, go to this link. There is no cost to open the account. I recommend opening an account and having it ready. When you are ready to pull the trigger is not the time to try to open the account.