WASHINGTON — USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced June 10 it would grant farmers greater flexibility in removing their cover crops so they may be eligible for crop insurance.
The ruling covers farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
As record rainfall in the Midwest delayed planting of cash crops like corn and soybeans, many Ohio farmers were delayed in removing their cover crop and then planting their cash crop.
Under current guidelines, farmers are not eligible for crop insurance coverage for their regular cash crop unless the cover crop has been removed by a set date. Because heavy rainfall delayed cash crop planting, many farmers have missed the deadline — originally set for May 15. Although the USDA pushed the deadline back to June 1, many farmers would have been penalized.
Producers who plant a crop after a cover crop that has headed, budded, or has been harvested in the same calendar year are required to request a written agreement through their crop insurance agent.
Producers have until July 15 to request a written agreement request through their agent, but are encouraged to submit their request as early as possible because a crop inspection is required as part of the written agreement.
The inspection must show a yield potential equal to 90 percent of the guarantee.
Heard from Senators
U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Dick Lugar, R-Ind., pressed Risk Management Agency Administrator William J. Murphy for the greater flexibility, sending a letter requesting the extension.
“Farmers should not be penalized for implementing planting practices that not only increase profitability, but improve water and soil quality,” Brown said. “RMA’s swift decision is the right one for Ohio’s farmers and for our state’s largest industry.”
Farmers are encouraged to talk to their insurance agent and ask questions related to their insurance policy, coverage, and prevented planting.