Changes in crop insurance mean flexibility in planting cover crops

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Risk Management Agency is giving farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio more flexibility when insuring a crop that follows a cover crop.

Spring crop

Heavy spring rains in 2011 delayed planting in parts of the Midwest, raising concerns about the impact a cover crop may have on the insurability of a subsequent spring crop. Restrictions limited insurance coverage on crops that followed a cover crop that was harvested or reached the budded stage in the same crop year.

For 2012, crops planted following a cover crop are insurable as long as the cover crop is killed on or before June 5. Whether the cover crop has headed, budded or has been harvested no longer effects insurability.

These changes affect corn, popcorn, sweet corn, hybrid seed corn, pumpkins, soybeans, grain sorghum and processing beans. The cover crop practice is defined as a crop planted within 12 months of planting the insurable crop and is recognized as a sound agronomic conservation practice for the area.

For more details on how cover crops may impact your crop insurance policy, contact a crop insurance agent.

Information on cover crops can be found by going to the information browser link at the Risk Management Agency website at http://www.rma.usda.gov. Producers can get the specifics by entering the crop and county where the farm is located and looking at the special provisions.

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