MANAGERS BULLETIN: MGR–22-009
United States Department of Agriculture
Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services
Risk Management Agency
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-0801
All Risk Management Agency Field Offices
All Other Interested Parties
In February 2022, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) allowed written agreements for a new relay cropping practice for soybeans seeded into a small grain crop for the 2022 crop year through Manager’s Bulletin MGR-22-002. This MGR replaces MGR-22-002 beginning with the 2023 crop year. This expanded insurance opportunity is to address climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources which are challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability. Policyholders view relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification with special focus on soil health and the potential of increasing overall production value on the acreage. This practice utilizes acres to produce two crops for harvest within the same crop year. The most common reported relay cropping practice is planting soybeans into an established winter small grain crop, such as wheat, barley, or rye.
Relay cropping is defined as:
A cropping practice where a second-planted crop (“relay crop”) is planted (using a generally recognized seeding rate) into an established crop (other than a cover crop) where the crops are planted in a manner that allows separate agronomic maintenance and harvest of the crops unless otherwise defined in the Crop Provisions. Damage to either crop during planting, harvest, or general maintenance of either crop will be considered an uninsurable cause of loss.
Under the relay cropping practice, the first crop is harvested above the immature relay crop which limits damage to the relay crop. The relay crop is harvested later in the growing year during its normal harvest period.
For the 2023 and succeeding crop years, RMA will continue to allow soybeans relay cropped into an established small grain crop (insured or uninsured) to be insurable via written agreement in accordance with section 9(a)(2)(iii) of the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (CCIP Basic Provisions).
Written Agreement Requirements:
To insure relay cropped soybeans, the policyholder must submit an unrated practice/type (TP) type request for a written agreement in accordance with section 18 of the CCIP Basic Provisions and the 2023 and succeeding Written Agreement Handbook (WAH).
Policyholders requesting to renew a written agreement for relay cropped soybeans must follow the requirements in the WAH. For renewal requests:
- The deadline is the sales closing date;
- Evidence of adaptability is not required; and
- Minimum production history requirements listed below for new requests do not apply to renewal requests. Refer to the production history requirements in paragraph 22 B (3) of the WAH for required information that must accompany renewal requests.
Policyholders requesting a new written agreement for relay cropped soybeans must follow the requirements in the WAH. For new requests:
- The deadline is the acreage reporting date;
- Evidence of adaptability is required from an agricultural expert that relay cropping is an acceptable practice for the requested location; and
- Minimum production history as required for the zones below.
Policyholders requesting a written agreement for the non-irrigated relay cropping practice in a county on the map below located in:
- Zone 1, require no prior relay cropping actual production history;
- Zone 2, must submit at least the most recent two years of their relay cropping actual production history from the county; or
- Zone 3, must submit at least the most recent three years of their relay cropping actual production history from the county.
Policyholders requesting a written agreement for the irrigated practice in any of the zones do not need to submit prior relay cropping actual production history to qualify for a written agreement.
Interested producers should contact a crop insurance agent for further information and guidance on how to submit their written agreement request. A list of agents can be found on the RMA website at www.rma.usda.gov/Information-Tools/Agent-Locator.
Through the individual written agreement offer, RMA Regional Offices are permitted to exclude soybean special provision statements that restrict the relay cropping practice.
December 31, 2023