USDA extending haying, grazing of cover crops

WASHINGTON — The USDA recently announced due to cold and wet weather in many states it is providing Approved Insurance Providers the option to allow haying and grazing from the current May 10 deadline to May 22.

The USDA Risk Management Agency identified areas with the May 10 deadline where the wet, cold spring has delayed normal cover crop growth and normal spring planting preparations. There may also be areas where it may not be possible for producers to enter the field to terminate the cover crop or plant at this time.

Affected states

Producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan seeking to continue haying or grazing a cover crop should contact their AIP to discuss eligibility.

Because circumstances will be different for each producer, the AIPs may, at their sole discretion, make a determination to approve the request.

Changes

Under the existing policy in the seven identified states, a producer must not hay, graze or harvest a cover crop after May 10 in order to insure a spring crop.

The existing policies also provide specifics of when the cover crop must be terminated before planting the spring crop. This decision does not affect the date by which the crop must be terminated or the planting dates.

More information for producers and agents can be found at www.rma.usda.gov/bulletins/managers/2013/mgr-13-004.pdf.

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