For farmers wanting to insure a grain crop in 2013, certain rules applied to the treatment of cover crops for emergency forage this summer. The existing rule stated that if the forage/cover crop will be harvested in the Spring of 2013, then that crop cannot be insured. This rule has been changed temporarily in order to help livestock farmers impacted by the drought to produce more forage.

In the Spring of 2013, a farmer may harvest a forage/cover crop planted the previous summer/fall/winter, and then insure the following grain crop. Keep in mind this is a TEMPORARY rule change and most likely will not be permanently put in place and this also ONLY PERTAINS TO COVER CROPS, perennials will not be covered under this rule change.

Also of note, the USDA has changed rules regarding grazing and haying land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, the Wetlands Reserve Program, and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

ARA will continue to monitor the progress regarding these rule changes in response to the drought conditions. Please see the links to the following documents for further details.

Drought 2012: USDA Changes Crop Insurance Rules for Cover Crop Harvesting in Spring 2013, provided by the University of Wisconsin Extension

USDA Document - Emergency Drought Relief - Allowing the Haying & Grazing of a Cover Crop for the 2013 Crop Year