Crop Insurance Question 5: Cover Crops

Question: How do cover crops that could not be properly managed in the wet weather figure in to crop insurance?

Answer: It is a long-standing RMA rule that if a crop reaches the headed/seeded stage or is harvested, then any crop following that crop in the same year is uninsurable.  Cover crops that were planted last fall are typically killed prior to heading, but with all the rain this year it wasn’t possible, and many fields have gone to seed.  RMA announced in January that you can do a “Written Agreement”, or special request, to RMA to insure a field following a cover crop that is headed or harvested, as long as the cover crop is killed by May 15th.  Due to the extreme wetness, RMA announced on May 26th that they have extended the May 15th deadline to June 1 for corn and June 10 for soybeans.  RMA also requires a two-week delay between killing the cover crop and corn planting to allow cover crop decay.  In addition, they typically only allow you to insure the crop at the county T-yield (typically 127 to 135 bu/ac), rather than at the unit’s Approved APH.  Finally, at this time their position is that these acres are NOT eligible for PP.  This is still evolving with lots of Congressmen and FSA personnel involved, but we needed to get some info out to you for planning before the ground gets fit.  The last day to send in a Written Agreement is July 15th.

Farm Credit just sent out an updated and detailed piece on prevented planting to their insured that they have provided us for you to read.

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