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  • Q I have filed a claim with my crop insurance company for prevented planting on my corn acres. During the adjustment process I was told I did not have enough eligible corn acres for all my prevented planting acres; therefore, some of my prevented planting payment is based on “rolled acres” to soybeans. Do my prevented planting crop acres need to match what I reported to the FSA?

    A
    In this instance, FSA and RMA data will not match, nor are they required to match. For crop insurance, producers still file claims for their “intended” plantings; however, actual payments are based on the number of eligible acres of the crop. For example, you can’t claim 1000 acres of corn if you have never planted 1000 acres of corn. The FSA prevented planting eligibility rules are different. For FSA reporting purposes, the actual prevented planting crop and acres are required. So, when “rolled acres” are applied for crop insurance, the RMA and FSA data will not match.
  • Q Water, which was backed up by a dam, flooded my fields and I am unable to plant my crop. Am I eligible for a prevented planting payment?

    A

    Flooding of cropland as a result of water contained within the designed limits of a reservoir or dam is not an insurable cause of loss. Dams and reservoirs have areas (often referred to as flowage easement areas) which are designated to be inundated for the purpose of flood storage up to a specified water elevation. Backwater flooding of cropland areas above the designed elevation (i.e. outside the flowage easement area) is an insurable cause of loss.

    According to the terms of the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions Section 12 c:

    “All other causes of loss, including but not limited to the following, are NOT covered: Water that is contained by or within structures that are designed to contain a specific amount of water, such as dams, locks or reservoir projects, etc., on any acreage when such water stays within the designed limits (For example, a dam is designed to contain water to an elevation of 1,200 feet but you plant a crop on acreage at an elevation of 1,100 feet. A storm causes the water behind the dam to rise to an elevation of 1,200 feet. Under such circumstances, the resulting damage would not be caused by an insurable cause of loss. However, if you planted on acreage that was above 1,200 feet elevation, any damage caused by water that exceeded that elevation would be caused by an insurable cause of loss);”

  • Q I have a 40-acre field in which I am prevented from planting corn. During the late planting period I am able to plant 20 of those acres to soybeans. Am I still eligible for a prevented planting payment?

    A

    If you have a history of planting both crops in the field in the same year, you may be eligible for a 100% PP payment on corn, for the 20 unplanted acres. If you don’t have a history of planting both crops in the field in the same year, you would no longer be eligible for PP for corn, but may be eligible for PP soybeans, if all other policy provisions are met. 

    Note:  If the soybeans were planted after the late planting period for corn, it becomes a first crop / second crop situation.  The 20 planted acres would instead be considered a second crop of soybeans, and the first crop of corn would have its PP payment reduced to 35%.  The 20 unplanted acres of PP corn would receive the full PP payment for corn.

     

     

  • Q I purchased an Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) Policy and have been prevented from planting my corn by the final planting date specified in my ARPI policy. Can I still get coverage for my corn if planted after the final planting date?

    A
    Prevented planting coverage is not provided under the terms of the ARPI policy. Any corn acreage initially planted after the final planting date must be reported as uninsurable. However, if you have another crop insurance policy that offers individual coverage such as revenue protection or yield protection, you may be able to plant a different crop and insure it under the terms of that policy provided you meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Q I was unable to get my corn acres planted by the final planting date and have subsequently enrolled the acres into a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) administered by the Farm Service Agency. I planted the CRP acres before the end of the late planting period for corn. Will this impact my prevented planting payment?

    A
    If the acres were enrolled in CRP after the final planting date for the crop prevented from being planted, there would be no reduction in the prevented planting payment.
  • Q I planted an insured crop during the late planting period and later found out about RMA’s change to the haying/grazing date for cover crops. My local ag experts have indicated that the same crop that I planted can also be planted as a cover crop. Can I report my planted acres as prevented planting acres and, instead, call the insured crop a cover crop?

    A
    No. Crops previously planted as an insured crop CANNOT be reported as prevented planting acres. AIPs have been advised that crops planted prior to RMA’s June 20th bulletin date should undergo additional scrutiny to determine date planted and intent at time of planting. RMA Compliance will also be conducting sampling of policies where the notice of loss and was received, and PP acres were reported, after June 20th . Producers who intended to plant the insured crop CANNOT change those acres to PP. Doing so would constitute false statements/false claims and may result in a determination that no payment is due. Furthermore, this is an act that is punishable by law. Any agent or adjustor who encourages producers to change planted acres with an initial intent of planting an insured crop to PP acres, followed by a cover crop, will be subject to suspension and debarment proceedings.
  • Below is a series of questions on prevented planting and the use of cover crops. These are general guidelines and insureds should contact their crop insurance agent to discuss how these apply to their policy.

  • Q What are cover crops?

    A

    A crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control, or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement. Cover crops include grasses, legumes and forbs for seasonal cover and other conservation purposes. The cover crop must be managed and terminated according to Good Farming Practices.

    Cover crops must achieve conservation purposes while minimizing the risks of reducing yields to the following crop due to soil water use. Conservation purpose includes reducing soil erosion, improving soil’s physical and biological properties, supplying of nutrients and suppressing weeds. Information on cover crops can be gleaned from a number of sources including universities research and extension, crop advisors, and USDA Agencies.  You may find general information on the NRCS Cover Crop webpage.

  • Q Am I required to plant a cover crop based on a NRCS or Soil and Water Conservation District seeding recommendation, to meet RMA’s cover crop requirements?

    A
    RMA requires insured producers to follow basic recommendations issued by recognized ag experts as defined in the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (18-BR) or USDA agency recommendations regarding selection of cover crops and seeding rates. Planting the cover crop based on NRCS recommendation is part of the requirements, but not the sole source of information available to producers. Cover Crop Termination Guidelines also contain general guidance for NRCS, FSA, and RMA. For more information regarding the Guidelines and cover crops and crop insurance please see the RMA Cover Crop webpage.
  • Q Does RMA or other USDA agencies have a list of approved cover crops?

    A

    RMA, NRCS and FSA do not have a list of approved cover crops. Producers should consult agricultural experts for which cover crops are agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement. As defined in the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions, agricultural experts are persons who are employed by the Cooperative Extension System or the agricultural departments of universities, or other persons approved by FCIC, whose research or occupation is related to the specific crop or practice for which such expertise is sought.

    However, to remain eligible for prevented plant payments, producers must follow NRCS Cover Crop Termination Guidelines. For more information regarding the Guidelines and cover crops and crop insurance please see the RMA Cover Crop page.

  • Q Will my insurable crop for the next crop year be impacted by my current cover crop decision?

    A
    To remain eligible for prevented plant payments, producers must follow NRCS Cover Crop Termination Guidelines. For more information regarding the Guidelines and cover crops and crop insurance please see the RMA Cover Crop webpage.
  • Q What is an agricultural expert?

    A

    As defined in the Common Crop Insurance Provisions, Basic Provisions, an agricultural expert includes persons who are employed by the Cooperative Extension System or the agricultural departments of universities, or other persons approved by FCIC, whose research or occupation is related to the specific crop or practice for which such expertise is sought.

    Note (from the General Standards Handbook): Persons who have a personal or financial interest in the insured or the crop will not qualify as an agricultural expert.

    Examples (from the Good Farming Practices Handbook):

    Approved Agricultural Experts include personnel whose research or occupation is related to the specific crop or practice for which such expertise is sought with demonstrated expertise in the production practice in question, and is:

    (1) employed by Cooperative Extension Service or USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), formerly Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES);

    (2) employed by the agricultural departments of universities;

    (3) certified by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) as Certified Crop Advisers and Certified Professional Agronomists, https://www.agronomy.org/;

    (4) certified by the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) as Certified Professional Crop Consultants, http://naicc.org/;

    (5) certified by the American Society for Horticultural Sciences as Certified Professional Horticulturists; or

    (6) certified by the International Society of Arboriculture as Certified Arborists.

  • Q I am interested in planting a cover crop on acres where I have a received a prevented planting payment. I am not receiving cost-share from NRCS for the planting of the cover crop. Do I need documentation from NRCS before I plant my cover crop?

    A
    No. A producer may rely on advice and experience from a number of sources, as seen in the previous question, in selecting their cover crop for planting. There is not a requirement for NRCS to review and approve their selection and planting decision.
  • Q What type of documentation do I need to maintain for the cover crop planted on my prevented planting acreage to meet the requirements in the crop insurance policy?

    A
    Producers should maintain all documentation regarding recommendations from an agricultural expert (cover crop selection, seeding rate, etc.) and provide such documentation to their crop insurance company upon request.
  • Q I planted a cover crop during the Late Planting Period of the crop for which I am claiming a prevented planting payment. Can I also enroll these acres in an NRCS program (e.g. EQIP) without impacting my prevented planting payment?

    A
    Yes, these acres may be enrolled in an NRCS program, such as EQIP after the final planting date. The Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (18-BR) allows for a cover crop to be planted within or prior to the end of the LPP (or prior to the FPD if there is no LPP) and maintain prevented planting coverage. Normal cover crop procedures would apply.
  • Q I have corn and soybeans insured. I was prevented from planting corn on some of my fields. Can I plant soybeans as a cover crop on the corn prevented planting fields before the end of the late planting period for soybeans?

    A
    Yes, provided the soybeans are recommended as a cover crop by an agricultural expert (as defined by RMA), if they are seeded at the recommended rate for a cover crop, and are not harvested for grain or seed at any time. The soybean cover crop may also be hayed, grazed, or cut for silage after September 1 without impacting your corn prevented planting payment. Producers should maintain all documentation regarding recommendations from an agricultural expert (cover crop selection, seeding rate, etc.) and provide such documentation to their crop insurance company upon request.
  • Q If I planted a cover crop on my acreage last fall and I am prevented from terminating the cover crop and am prevented from planting my spring crop, may I reseed (or let the cover crop reseed on its own) the current cover crop and terminate for the 2020 crop year?

    A
    If a cover crop is on the acreage in the spring and the acreage is prevented from being planted, you may reseed the current cover crop on the acreage using good farming practices. However, the cover crop will need to be destroyed within 12 months of the initial establishment date or it will be considered an established crop. Insured crops generally cannot be planted into an established forage crop. Review the crop provisions of the insured crop for more information.
  • Prevented Planting and Cover Crop for Flooded Acreage: 2019 Only

  • The following FAQs are applicable for the 2019 crop year only.

  • Note: Cutting a cover crop for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing.

  • Q I am interested in planting a cover crop after the late planting period (for the crop I am receiving a prevented planting payment) to keep the ground covered for conservation purposes. I would also like to chop it for silage sometime in the fall. Will that affect my prevented planting payment?

    A

    You may hay, graze or cut the cover crop for silage, but timing is important. If the cover crop is hayed, grazed or cut for silage before September 1, your prevented planting payment will be reduced by 65 percent. If it is hayed, grazed or cut for silage on or after September 1, your prevented planting payment will not be affected. Before planting a cover crop, you need to be aware of a few scenarios, which are differentiated by when you plant the cover crop and when you may hay, graze, cut for silage or harvest for grain or seed.

    The following table shows how planting a cover crop impacts prevented planting eligibility and the amount of prevented planting payment. The table is a tool and should be used in conjunction with the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions, Special Provisions, and all applicable provisions and procedures:

    Cover Crop Planted

    Disposition

    Pay 100%

    Pay 35%

    Pay 0%

    Before Final Planting Date (FPD) of the Prevented Crop**

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for silage during or before the end of the LPP

    X

     

     

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for silage after the LPP, but before Sept 1

     

    X*

     

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for silage on or after Sept 1

    X

     

     

    Harvested for grain or seed at any time

     

     

    X

     

    During Late Planting Period (LPP) of the Prevented Crop

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for Silage before Sept 1

     

     

    X

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for silage on or after Sept 1

    X

     

     

    Harvested for grain or seed at any time

     

     

    X

     

    After Late Planting Period of the Prevented Crop

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for silage before Sept 1

     

    X

     

    Hayed/Grazed/Cut for silage on or after Sept 1

    X

     

    Harvested for grain or seed at any time

     

    X*

     

    *Provided the crop claimed as a cover crop is not the prevented crop and all other policy provisions are met.

    **Example: Fall-Planted Cover Crop; Spring PP Crop

  • Q If a cover crop planted last fall is hayed after the Final Planting Date but during or after the late planting period, am I still eligible for Prevented Planting on those acres?

    A

    A cover crop planted before the final planting date of the crop prevented from planting can be hayed or grazed within or prior to the end of the late planting period. The insured may still be eligible for 100% of the prevented planting payment, provided haying and grazing of the cover crop did not contribute to the acreage being prevented from planting.

    For example: a cover crop was planted last fall; wet weather in the spring prevents the insured from planting corn by the FPD; the cover crop can be hayed or grazed through the LPP without impacting the corn PP payment.

  • Q If I plant a cover crop and cut it for hay after September 1, can I sell it without affecting my prevented planting payment?

    A
    Yes. If a cover crop is hayed on or after September 1 the insured may receive a full prevented planting payment provided all other policy provisions have been met.
  • Q Is there flexibility for grazing cover crops before September 1?

    A
    For the 2019 crop year only, if you hay, graze or cut the cover crop for silage before September 1, your prevented planting payment will be reduced by 65%.
  • Q Can I plant a cover crop of the same crop I was prevented from planting? Or in other words, can I use the seed I have on hand (corn, soybeans, wheat) to plant a cover crop as long as it's at a lower seeded rate that qualifies for cover crop?

    A

    Yes. An acceptable cover crop must be generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement is planted at the recommended seeding rate, etc. The cover crop may be the same crop prevented from planting and may still retain eligibility for a prevented planting payment. The cover crop planted cannot be used for harvest as seed or grain.

    Example: A producer plants a cover crop of corn (for silage to be cut after September 1) following a prevented planting crop of corn (for grain). If all other provisions are met, and planting corn for silage at rates consistent with a cover crop is generally recognized by agricultural experts as being agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement, it would not impact the prevented planting payment.

This Frequently Asked Questions document does not change existing policy or procedure, or existing Approved Insurance Provider responsibilities in making prevented planting determinations. Policyholders must meet all eligibility requirements under the prevented planting policy provisions and handbook procedures.