USDA: Producers can hay, graze, chop, still receive payments
Agricultural producers with crop insurance can hay, graze or chop cover crops for silage, haylage or baleage at any time and still receive 100% of the prevented planting payment, the Agriculture Department’s Risk Management Agency announced Friday, July 9.
Previously, cover crops could only be hayed, grazed or chopped after Nov. 1, otherwise the prevented planting payment was reduced by 65%.
RMA added this flexibility as part of a broader effort to encourage producers to use cover crops, an important conservation and good farming practice, the agency said in a news release.
“Cover crops are especially important on fields prevented from planting as they help reduce soil erosion and boost soil health,” the agency said.
“We work diligently to ensure the federal crop insurance program helps producers effectively manage risk on their farms while also conserving natural resources,” said acting RMA Administrator Richard Flournoy.
“We are dedicated to responding to the needs of producers, and this flexibility is good for agriculture and promotes climate smart agricultural practices. We are glad we can better support producers who use cover crops.”
“RMA recognizes that cover crops are not planted as an agricultural commodity but rather with the primary purpose for conservation benefits. For the 2021 crop year and beyond, RMA will not consider a cover crop planted following a prevented planting claim to be a second crop. But RMA will continue to consider a cover crop harvested for grain or seed to be a second crop, and it remains subject to a reduction in the prevented planting indemnity in accordance with the policy,” the agency added.
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