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Cover Crop Haying, Grazing Extended In Some States

USDA Risk Management Agency says insurance companies can allow haying and grazing until May 22, if they so choose.

Published on: May 9, 2013

USDA's Risk Management Agency announced May 8 it will allow approved crop insurance providers in certain states to extend the deadline date for haying and grazing of cover crops. If the farmers' insurance company chooses, the farmer may be allowed to graze or hay cover crops until May 22, 2013 in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Farmers need to check with their local crop insurance agent for approval.

USDA's Risk Management Agency is allowing this extension because of continued wet weather in these states this spring. The previous deadline was May 10, 2013.

The RMA memo issued May 8 says in these states cover crops may continue to be hayed or grazed until May 22, 2013, without affecting the eligibility of the following crop for multiple peril crop insurance coverage if the producer's approved insurance provider (i.e. the crop insurance company) approves. This is a one-year exception due to 2013's wet spring weather. The memo also says cover crops still must be terminated before planting, and producers should contact their crop insurance agent to request permission to extend grazing or haying.

COVER CROP EXTENSION: USDAs Risk Management Agency is allowing insurance providers to extend the deadline for haying and grazing cover crops until May 22, 2013. This is only for certain states and farmers must check with local agent for permission. Previous deadline was May 10.
COVER CROP EXTENSION: USDA's Risk Management Agency is allowing insurance providers to extend the deadline for haying and grazing cover crops until May 22, 2013. This is only for certain states and farmers must check with local agent for permission. Previous deadline was May 10.

Insurance firms will decide whether to grant this extension
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging farmers with cover crops to contact their insurance provider if they are interested in haying or grazing after May 10, 2013.

 

Plant Cover Crops In A Drought Year? You Bet
Cover crops can help conserve moisture, keep soil covered and provide residue going into the cropping season. Download our free report Cover Crops: Best Management Practices

 

"It is critically important farmers work with their insurance agent and insurance company and receive approval if they are interested in haying or grazing a cover crop past May 10," Northey says. "It has been a very challenging spring for many farmers and hopefully this announcement will provide farmers with some additional flexibility."

This announcement should provide farmers some flexibility
USDA had previously provided guidance or rules for farmers interested in insuring a spring crop following a cover crop that farmers must not hay, graze or otherwise harvest the cover crop after May 10, and that farmers must terminate the cover crop prior to planting the spring crop. The cover crop must be terminated with tillage or herbicide, grazing is not considered terminating the crop.

"This new guidance from RMA only affects farmers interested in haying or grazing a cover crop past May 10," Northey notes. "Otherwise, a farmer only has to terminate the cover crop prior to planting. So, if they aren't able to get into a field due to wet weather they still have time to kill the cover crop prior planting and not have it impact their crop insurance."

In addition to contacting their insurance provider, farmers can also contact the USDA Risk Management Agency's St. Paul Regional Office for more information via phone at 651-290-3304, email at rsomn@rma.usda.gov, or online here.

Plant Cover Crops In A Drought Year? You Bet
Cover crops can help conserve moisture, keep soil covered and provide residue going into the cropping season. Download our free report Cover Crops: Best Management Practices