2013 Spring Cover Crops and Crop Insurance eligibility explained
AMES — Livestock producers who established a cover crop after corn harvest last fall are wondering how this will affect their crop insurance coverage for 2013, according to William Edwards, economist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Edwards has this information from program specialists at the Risk Management Agency (RMA) office in St. Paul (which administers programs in Iowa).
“Cover crops such as rye, for example, that were established in 2012 are not insurable themselves,” Edwards said. “And they will not affect the insurability of subsequent crops planted this year if certain rules are followed.”
The RMA filed a statement for 2013 that allows spring haying, harvesting or grazing of cover crops up to May 10 without affecting the eligibility of the following grain crop for multiple peril crop insurance coverage. The growth of the cover crop must be terminated either mechanically or with herbicide before any subsequent crop can be planted. Planting a grain crop into a living cover crop is not permitted.
Edwards said the RMA definition of a cover crop is “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.