Cover Crop Insurance Issues

With more no-tillers interested in cashing in on cover crops to boost yields, slash fertilizer costs and curb soil erosion, everyone needs to understand the ramifications of qualifying for crop insurance. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a substantial yield loss claim that ends up being denied.

For instance, if you’re a grower who no-tills fields in different counties, the rules regarding cover-crop coverage may differ from county to county. Subtle interpretations could void your coverage.

Know The Rules

In the past, Risk Management Agency rules in Ohio did not allow crop insurance coverage for small grains to be harvested when interplanted with another crop. The rule prohibited the use of a grain drill, says Chris Bruynis, Ohio State University Extension educator at Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

If you wanted to seed red clover into standing wheat, the only acceptable method was to broadcast the seed over the top of the wheat. Yet, once the wheat was harvested, you could drill the cover crop without voiding your crop insurance. Or you could graze the clover without losing crop insurance coverage.

Previous insurance policies stated any acreage following another crop (such as a cover crop) that had passed the head or bud stage and/or had been harvested in the same calendar year was not insurable. After harvesting a cover crop for forage, growers couldn’t insure crops such as corn and soybeans with most policies.

Rule Changes For 2011

 New rules this year make it easier to insure spring-planted crops after cover crops…

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Lessiter_frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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