FAQs On Cover Crops And NRCS Guidelines

Q. I was prevented from planting my insured crop, and I would like to establish a cover crop on the prevented planted acreage. My crop insurance agent explained that the NRCS Guidelines will not apply to this cover crop, and I need to be cognizant of the haying and grazing restrictions. Why is that?
A: The NRCS Guidelines are applicable in determining the insurability of a crop that follows a cover crop. According to the Special Provisions statement in the actuarial documents, insurance shall attach to the crop following a cover crop if among the three conditions stated in question 6 above, the cover crop, is managed and terminated according to the NRCS Guidelines.

Once the insurability criteria in the Special Provisions statement has been established, the crop is insurable. For cover crops that follow a prevented planting determination on an insurable crop, rules and regulations in the Prevented Planting Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook will apply. Generally, once you receive a prevented planting payment you can later plant a cover crop on the prevented planting acreage but YOU CANNOT hay or graze that cover crop before November 1, (and cannot otherwise harvest anytime), or you will impact your prevented planting payment.

Q. I was prevented from planting my insured crop, and the prevented planting was not caused by the cover crop. I would like to establish a new cover crop to replace the terminated cover crop after the later of the final planting date or the late planting period (when applicable). Do I still qualify for full prevented planting coverage for my insured crop?
A: It depends. If the new cover crop (the one planted on prevented planting acreage) is not hayed or grazed prior to November 1, or is not otherwise harvested at any time, the full prevented planting payment may be available. The rules and regulations associated with haying, grazing and harvesting of cover crops planted on prevented planted acreage are specified in the Prevented Planting Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook.

Q. Can I graze or harvest hay or silage from my cover crop prior to termination?
A: It depends. For the 2014 crop year, crops with a June 30th, August 31st, and September 30th contract change date, the June 2013 version of the NRCS Guidelines are to be used, which states: cover crops can be grazed but not hayed. If they are hayed, or harvested for grain or seed, etc., double crop restrictions may be applicable which may adversely affect the insurability of the following crop.

For the 2014 crop year, crops with a November 30th contract change date, the December 2013 version is to be used, which states: In all areas of the country and for all crops, except for crops insured under the RMA summerfallow practice in Zones 1, 2 and 3 (see below for more information summerfallow practice), cover crops may be grazed or harvested as hay or silage as long as the planned amount of biomass is available at the time of termination to meet the conservation purpose. A cover crop harvested for grain or seed will not be considered to have been planted for conservation purposes and will be considered a “crop”.

For the RMA designated summerfallow practice for crops with an 11/30 contract change date, cover crops cannot be hayed or grazed, or otherwise harvested. If the cover crop is hayed, grazed or otherwise harvested in any manner, or is not terminated in accordance with NRCS termination guidelines, it will be considered a crop and the acreage will not be eligible for the summerfallow practice until the acreage lies fallow for a full crop year.

Q. In My farm is in a Zone 4 county. The NRCS Guidelines state that I must terminate my cover crop at or within 5 days after planting, but before crop emergence. Can I terminate my cover crop prior to planting (e.g. several weeks prior) and still be in compliance with the NRCS Guidelines?
A: Yes. You can terminate the cover crop prior to planting your insured crop. The intent of the termination language for Zone 4 was to give the latest time periods to terminate. For Zone 4, the latest you can terminate the cover crop is before your insured crop emerges.

Q. My farm is in zone 2 and I will be planting non-irrigated soybeans. I plan to terminate my cover crop 15 days prior to planting. However, the weather and planting conditions this spring allows earlier than normal planting. I terminated the cover crop 5 days ago, but seedbed conditions and temperatures are right to plant now. Can I plant after 5 days, or must I wait 15 days?
A: In this case, with favorable weather and soil conditions, the good farming practice would be to plant under the ideal planting conditions. It is not necessary to wait 15 days. However, for crop insurance purposes, you must document the weather and soil conditions that support the earlier than normal planting conditions.

Q. My fields and the crops I planted are susceptible to wind erosion abrasion. My typical practice is to plant a cover crop of spring oats prior to or during planting of my insured susceptible crop. I then terminate the oat cover crop once the insured susceptible crop is established and the soil is protected from wind erosion. This does not fit any of the cover crop management zones. Can I insure my crop?
A: Yes. This is a special consideration within the cover crop termination guidelines to allow growing a protective cover crop during the establishment of a wind erosion susceptible crop, which would be considered a good farming practice.

Q. Will over-seeding/interseeding a conservation cover crop into an insured grain crop affect insurability?
A: No, as long as the cover crop is seeded near physiological maturity of the insured crop and the practice does not interfere with harvest, of the insured crop. If there was any damage caused by over-seeding the cover crop (although unlikely), uninsured cause of loss appraisals would be applied to the insured crop.

Q. Will interplanting a conservation cover crop into an insured grain crop affect insurability?
A: No, not if the cover crop and a cash crop are planted in a way that permits separate agronomic maintenance or management, then RMA will insure the cash crop. However, RMA will not insure the cash crop if the cover crop that is interplanted into a cash crop interferes with the agronomic management and the harvest of the cash crop.

Q. RMA has stated for some crops that have a summerfallow practice, RMA will allow cover crops to be planted during the fallow period without jeopardizing eligibility for the summerfallow practice. For other crops, cover crops cannot be planted during the fallow period. Please explain the reason.
A: For the 2014 crop year, crops with June 30th contract change date, the June 2013 version of the NRCS Guidelines is to be used. For those crops, which include winter wheat, and most spring wheat and barley, cover crops cannot be planted during the fallow period without jeopardizing eligibility for the summerfallow practice the following crop year. RMA is currently developing 2015 crop year provisions for these crops that will be released in June 2014.

For 2014 crop year crops with a November 30th contract change date, which includes some spring wheat, spring barley and other spring planted small grains, the December 2013 guidelines are applicable. For these crops, producers can plant cover crops during the fallow period provided they are managed and terminated according to the NRCS Guidelines (December 2013 version). There is no impact on summerfallow eligibility for the next crop year (provided the cover crops are not hayed, grazed or otherwise harvested).

Source: USDA Risk Management Agency

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Management Stories

ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Partnership
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Trending Articles
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncontrolled Weeds
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
Latest News
ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Fertilizer closeup in hand
Industry NewsVerdesian: Striking A Balance Between Yield & ROI
May 26, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Pa…
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Establishes Global Headquarters In R…
May 25, 2016
Arysta LifeScience has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from West Palm Beach, FL, to Cary, NC, over the Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSys…
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More