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  • Q We have been informed that there may be reduced water availability for irrigation. What are our alternatives for insuring the crop for the 2021 crop year?

    A

    Under current crop insurance policies and procedures, to insure your crop as irrigated, you must apply the quantity of water needed at the appropriate time to produce, at a minimum, the yield used to determine the production guarantee or amount of insurance. The yield used to determine the production guarantee is also known as your Actual Production History (APH) yield.

    If you intend to apply less water than the minimum needed to establish your irrigated practice APH yield on the irrigated acreage planted to the insured crop, regardless of the reason, you have the following options:

    • Apply the amount of water needed to produce the irrigated APH yield on a reduced number of acres and report the remaining acres as non-irrigated; if coverage is available for a non-irrigated practice of the crop;
    • Apply less water to the total acreage than used to establish your irrigated APH yield and report the total acreage as non-irrigated, if coverage is available for a non-irrigated practice of the crop; or
    • Apply the amount of water needed to produce the irrigated APH yield on a reduced number of acres and leave the remaining acres idle and report them as prevented planting, if eligible.
  • Q I historically plant 1/3 of my acres to irrigated sugar beets, 1/3 to irrigated corn, and 1/3 to irrigated dry beans. Am I required to distribute water at the same rate and acreage for the 2021 crop year?

    A
    You have the flexibility to rotate to a lower water use crop and insure that crop under an irrigated practice if you can demonstrate you have enough water to allow the crop to make normal progress toward maturity and produce the APH yield. In the example above, you can plant more acres of dry beans and distribute the saved water to sugar beets or corn. As long as you can prove you had enough water to meet the definition of irrigated practice, you can insure all the acres as irrigated.
  • Q How can I qualify for a prevented planting payment?

    A

    In order to qualify for a prevented planting payment, an insurable cause of loss must have occurred within the prevented planting insurance period. For carryover insureds (producers who had insurance for the 2020 crop year on the crop), the prevented planting insurance period begins on the sales closing date for the previous crop year (2020).

    For example, the corn sales closing date is March 15, 2021, for the 2021 crop year. An insurable cause of loss, such as drought occurs on or after March 15, 2020, and negatively affects irrigation water availability for the 2021 crop year. If all other prevented planting eligibility requirements have been met, the insured could receive a prevented planting payment.

    For new insureds, the prevented planting insurance period begins on the sales closing date for the insured crop in the county for the crop year the producer's application is accepted. For example, the corn sales closing date is March 15, 2021, for the 2021 crop year. The insured completes a corn application for the 2021 crop year on March 1, 2021. An insured cause of loss, such as drought occurs on or after March 15, 2021, and prevents the insured from planting corn by the final planting date. The new insured could be eligible for a prevented planting payment. If an insurable cause of loss occurred prior to March 15, 2021, this cause of loss would be outside the prevented planting insurance period, and the new insured would not be eligible for a prevented planting payment.

  • Q What records should I keep to support my prevented planting claim?

    A

    You must keep and provide all documentation to your crop insurance company (Approved Insurance Provider) as requested regarding the amount of water you will receive for the crop year and any justification provided for any reduced water allocation.

    Documentation of water shortfalls must be verified from information provided by local irrigation authorities responsible for water allocations, State Departments of Water Resources, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service or other sources responsible for collection of water data or regulation of water resources. These sources are also used to document whether all or a portion of the acres could be irrigated if average precipitation had occurred within the prevented planting insurance period.

  • Q My irrigation canal system had a partial tunnel collapse on July 17, 2019. The company that repaired the tunnel installed ribs in the tunnel (supports) for employee safety. Those ribs will be removed after the remaining tunnel repair work is completed, likely the spring of 2022. The tunnel ribs reduce the canal water flow. Is the loss of delivery capacity due to these ribs an insurable cause of loss for prevented planting eligibility for the 2021 crop year?

    A

    If the irrigation system failed due to an insurable cause of loss and the failure occurred in the insurance period, the affected acres could be eligible for a prevented planting indemnity. However, this particular tunnel collapse occurred outside the insurance period for the 2021 crop year. Consequently, the repair work to the tunnels would no longer be an insurable cause of loss in this case, and the acreage would not qualify for a prevented planting payment.

  • Q If I receive a prevented planting payment for a spring crop and then plant the acreage to a cover crop for conservation purposes, will the cover crop be treated as a second crop and reduce my prevent plant payment?

    A

    If a cover crop is planted after the end of the late planting period (or final planting date if no late planting period is applicable) for an insured crop that is prevented from being planted, but is not hayed, grazed or cut for silage, haylage or baleage before November 1 of the crop year, the prevented planting payment will not be reduced.

    If a cover crop is hayed, grazed or cut for silage, haylage or baleage after the late planting period (or final planting date if no late planting period is applicable) for an insured crop that is prevented from being planted and hayed, grazed or cut for silage, haylage prior to November 1 of the crop year, the prevented planting payment will be reduced to 35 percent.

    If a cover crop is planted after the end of the late planting period and is hayed, grazed or cut for silage, haylage or baleage after November 1 of the crop year in which an insured crop is prevented from being planted, the prevented planting payment will not be reduced. A cover crop harvested for grain, seed, etc., is presumed not to have been grown for conservation or soil improvement and the policy provisions for second crops, or crops planted before the end of the late planting period, will apply.