USDA’s Risk Management Agency has given farmers an extra three weeks before they must terminate their cover crops. Last year’s wet spring prevented many farmers from doing that in time to meet a crop insurance deadline. The new deadline is June 5 regardless of the growth stage. Eileen Kladivko, Purdue University professor of agronomy, cautions farmers to visit with their crop insurance agents to find out how cover crops may affect their crop insurance policies.
According to RMA, the changes affect corn, popcorn, sweet corn, hybrid seed corn, pumpkins, soybeans, grain sorghum and processing beans. The agency defines cover crops as crops planted within 12 months of planting an insurable crop. The cover crop must be recognized as a sound agronomic conservation practice for the area.
Kladivko says there was a lot of effort on the parts of land-grant universities, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and partners like the National Wildlife Federation to get the deadline changed – because of the conservation benefits of cover crops.