Prevented Planting / Crop Failure Tools

Photo Credit: Heather Shireman

As of June 9, 2019, only 67% of Indiana corn acres (98% average 2014-18) and 42% of Indiana soybean acres (89% average 2014-18) had been planted according to USDA-NASS.  According to the same report, 35% of Indiana corn acres had emerged (90% average 2014-18) and 42% of sobyean acres had emerged (73% average 2014-18).  

The following information has been compiled as a resource for those making decisions about prevented planting in 2019.

Crop Insurance

Producers should consult with their crop insurance agent and/or USDA-Risk Management Agency (RMA)on ALL crop insurance decisions.  The information provided here is intended to guide discussions and assist in the decision-making process. RMA is currently working to update Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address 2019 conditions. We will post those as they become available.

Farmers who are facing a situation in which the crop has not been planted by the final crop insurance planting date have at least three alternatives:

  1. Take the prevented planting payment and do not harvest a crop on those acres.
  2. Plant the crop after the planting deadline.
  3. Plant an alternative crop - including cover crops - instead.

Know YOUR eligibility and policy provisions: contact your crop insurance agent. For farmers using or interested in using cover crops to protect and improve soil health, please keep in mind that Indiana cover crops are currently utilized on 8-10% of all cropland acres. Your agent may not be fully familiar with RMA guidelines for this practice. The links provided below may help guide your discussion and search for answers.

Final Planting Date and Late Planting Period

Final Planting Date (FPD)
Most Federal crop insurance policies cover policyholders who plant after the final planting date, but at a reduced coverage level (generally 1% reduction per day for each day planting into the late planting period) to reflect the additional risk of planting later.

  • Indiana FPD for Corn: June 5
  • Indiana FPD for Soybeans: June 20

Late Planting Period (LPP)
A period of time after the final plant date (FPD) in which the insured can still plant the crop, but coverage will be reduced (generally 1% reduction / day).  The Late Planting Period also impacts eligibility for fields seeded to cover crops to be grazed or hayed. See FAQ on Cover Crop after LLP and chopping for silage
06/20/19 - For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying and grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1. See Bulletin MGR-19-015

  • Indiana LPP for Corn: June 25
  • Indiana LPP for Soybeans: July 15

USDA-RMA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Excerpts Related to Cover Crops

The following USDA-RMA FAQ Excerpts relate specifically to cover crops and were taken from the FAQs listed above.  ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR CROP INSURANCE AGENT.

UPDATE 06/20/19 USDA-RMA Bulletin MGR-19-015   
For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1.

If I am prevented from planting by the final planting date, what are my options under the terms of my policy provided I meet all other policy provisions and I do not qualify for double cropping? (RMA FAQ - Flooding)

  • Plant the insured crop during the late planting period, if applicable, and insurance coverage will be provided. The late planting period is generally 25 days after the final planting date but varies by crop and area. For most crops, the production guarantee per acre is reduced one percent per day for each day planting is delayed after the final planting date.
  • Plant the insured crop after the end of the late planting period (or after the final planting date if a late planting period is not applicable), and you can choose to insure such acreage or elect not to insure to acreage. Premium will only be due and payable on acreage planted after the end of the late planting period if you choose to insure the acreage. The insurance guarantee will be the same as the insurance guarantee provided for prevented planting coverage.
  • Leave the acreage idle and receive a full prevented planting payment.
  • Plant a cover crop and receive a full prevented planting payment provided the cover crop is not hayed or grazed before November 1, or otherwise harvested at any time. If the cover crop is hayed or grazed before November 1, the prevented planting payment on the first crop is reduced to 35 percent of the first crop’s prevented planting guarantee.
    UPDATE 06/20/19 USDA-RMA Bulletin MGR-19-015   
    For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1.
  • Plant another crop (second crop) after the late planting period (or after the final planting date if no late planting period is applicable) and receive a prevented planting payment equal to 35 percent of the prevented planting guarantee.
I am interested in planting a cover crop after the late planting period (for the crop for which 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? (RMA FAQ - Prevented Planting Flooding)

UPDATE 06/20/19 USDA-RMA Bulletin MGR-19-015  
For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1.

FOR THE 2019 CROP YEAR ONLY:

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:

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With regard to cover crops and rules regarding "haying and grazing," what does "haying" mean? (RMA FAQ - Flooding)

Haying means cutting or otherwise harvesting a volunteer or cover crop that is put up in any manner (e.g., baled) or put into storage.
UPDATE 06/20/19 USDA-RMA Bulletin MGR-19-015   
For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1.

If I plant a cover crop and cut it for hay after September 1, can I sell it without affecting my prevented planting payment? (RMA FAQ - Prevented Planting Flooding)

FOR CROP YEAR 2019 ONLY
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.

Is there flexibility for grazing cover crops before September 1?

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%.

If I claim prevented planting, will this have an impact on my actual production history (APH)? (RMA FAQ - Flooding)

If the prevented planting payment is not limited to 35 percent of the prevented planting coverage, there is no effect on the APH database. However, in the case where a first crop is prevented from being planted and a second crop is planted on the same acreage in the same crop year (the producer does not have double cropping history), the acreage in which you receive a prevented planting insurance guarantee reduced to 35 percent of the prevented planting payment will have 60 percent of the APH yield for the PP crop instituted for the year.
2015 Cover Crop and Crop Insurance for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan - General Information (RMA FAQ: 2015 Cover Crop and Crop Insurance for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan)

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) supplement the General FAQ’s issued on December 23, 2014, and are specifically for cover crops grown in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. All counties in these states are in NRCS Management Zone 4 and must be terminated according to the NRCS Cover Crop Termination Guidelines (September 2014, Version 3).

For crop insurance purposes what is a cover crop? (RMA FAQ: 2015 Cover Crop and Crop Insurance for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan)

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.

If I farm in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, or Michigan, when do I have to terminate my cover crop to insure the following crop? (RMA FAQ: 2015 Cover Crop and Crop Insurance for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan)

For non-irrigated acreage, cover crops in NRCS Management Zone 4 must be terminated at, or within 5 days after planting of the insured crop, but before crop emergence. For irrigated crops, cover crops should be terminated based on the crop system and conservation purpose, but before the insured crop emerges. Please see the General FAQ’s issued on December 23, 2014, for information on termination requirements in other states.

Can I graze or harvest hay or silage from my cover crop prior to termination? (RMA FAQ: 2015 Cover Crop and Crop Insurance for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan)

According to the NRCS Guidelines, for the 2015 crop year cover crops may be grazed or harvested as hay or silage, unless prohibited by RMA crop insurance policy provisions. In Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, there are no RMA crop provisions that would prohibit the haying and grazing of cover crops that precede a crop (in accordance with special provisions in the actuarial documents). Please keep in mind that cover crops cannot be otherwise harvested, such as for grain or seed, etc.

I was prevented from planting my insured crop, and I would like to establish a cover crop on the prevented planted acreage. My crop insurance agent explained that the NRCS Guidelines will not apply to this cover crop, and I need to be aware of the haying and grazing restrictions. Why is that? (RMA FAQ: 2015 Cover Crop and Crop Insurance for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan)

The NRCS Guidelines are applicable in determining the insurability of a crop that follows a cover crop. According to the special provisions statement in the Information Browser, insurance shall attach to the crop following a cover crop if the cover crop 1) Meets the definition provided in the basic provisions; 2) Was planted in the last 12 months; and 3) Was managed and terminated according to the NRCS Guidelines.

Once the insurability criteria in the special provisions statement has been established, the crop is insurable. For cover crops that follow a prevented planting determination on an insurable crop, rules and regulations in the Prevented Planting Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook will apply. Generally, once you receive a prevented planting payment you can later plant a cover crop on the prevented planting acreage but you cannot hay or graze that cover crop before November 1, (and cannot otherwise harvest anytime), or you will impact your prevented planting payment.
UPDATE 06/20/19 USDA-RMA Bulletin MGR-19-015   
For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1.

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Forage Management Considerations

June 12, 2019 - CCSI and partner organizations are awaiting clarification from USDA-RMA on emergency forage provisions. This will be updated as new information becomes available.

Purdue University: Alfalfa Winter Injury and Wet Ground - What do we do now?

University of Nebraska: Forage, Feed, and Grazing Restrictions After Row Crop Herbicides




"Meeting in a Box": Prevented Planting or Crop Failure

The following information was compiled in 2017 to address excessive rainfall, prolonged ponding, and flooded conditions that resulted in many fields remaining unplanted and many acres of severely damaged or failed crops. It is currently under review and will be updated where appropriate for 2019 to help farmers and landowners manage cropland in ways to prevent further soil degradation and to increase soil productivity for next year.

To assist field staff in answering farmers' and landowners' questions about managing these acres - especially with the use of cover crops - CCSI has developed and collected presentations and handouts that may be used to create short informational meetings.

Suggested Presentations

Presentations are in .pdf format. To view as slideshow, left click "view" in the menu bar, then "full screen mode" in the drop-down menu.

Suggested Handouts - Cover Crops for Prevented Planting or Failed Crops

Suggested Handouts - Herbicide Persistence and Cover Crops

Suggested Handouts - Forage Considerations

Additional Resources

 General Cover Crop / Soil Health Handouts