Rules for Planting Cover Crops or Second Crops with Prevent Plant

2018 ( Sonja Begemann )

A recent Farm Journal Pulse indicates that about one-third of U.S. farmers will take prevent plant this season. With the potential for millions of acres to be barren you might be wondering what you can do to prevent erosion or provide feed opportunities for cattle.

Know the rules before you drop a seed into the ground after prevent plant. This is one area with no “gray” area, according to Cara Riekhof, agent with Crop Insurance Solutions, Inc., in Higginsville, Mo.

“You have restrictions of prevent plant acres,” she says. “You can put a cover crop on them, which will be extremely popular but there are stipulations to it.”

Talk with your agent to find what you can and cannot do to your prevent plant acres. Before you make your prevent plant determination, get an idea of what your options are. Riekhof walks through the following with her clients as they make decision on prevent plant and what their options are:

  1. Prevent plant acres are paid out separate of any planted acres. What you do with the ground after declaring prevent plant could change your payment.
    1. If the ground stays idle farmers receive full indemnity with no APH impact.
    2. If cover crops are planted they:
      1. Must be planted after the final plant date of the prevented plant crop.
      2. Cannot be harvested for grain or silage.
      3. Should not be grazed or hayed until after November 1.
      4. When stipulations are followed there is no APH impact.
    3. There are options to plant a second crop:
      1. If the second crop is on the farmers’ policy it’s automatically insured, 100% premium and full indemnity eligible.
      2. First crop (the one declared prevent plant) premium is reduced by 35% and prevent plant payment is reduced by 35%.
      3. The second crop cannot be planted until after the late plant period eds for the first crop.
      4. There is APH impact if a second crop is planted:
        1. First crop receives 60% of APH yield for prevent plant acres.
        2. Second crop gets APH calculated off actual production.

As 2019 continues to unfold it’s proving to be a year like no other. While this record number of prevent plant claims might soften the financial blow for thousands of farmers, it’s by no means a money-making proposition.

“You’re looking at $190 to $300 (in her 19 Missouri and five Kansas counties) per acre at best for prevent plant,” she says. This comes at a particularly challenging time as margins were already tight and some farmers opted for lower insurance coverage to offset costs.

“Farmers in the river bottoms are on high-risk ground and are charged more for it,” Riekhof adds. “In those areas they don’t take 80% to 85% coverage, in our agency, those river bottoms acres trend at 65% to 75% coverage. In 10 years of working in insurance I’ve never felt so sick to my stomach while talking to people. We’re doing all we can but it’s a penny in the bucket to what they really need.”

Widespread disasters like this year’s floods won’t just impact the 2019 crop, but the next two to three years, too. In addition, flooding has spread to non-bottom ground acres in many areas, putting farmers in unchartered territory. Talk with your insurance agents, grain buyers and other key stakeholders early if your production has been adversely impacted.

Check out the video below for more information as U.S. Farm Report Host Tyne Morgan interview Hannah Copenhaver, agent with Crop Insurance Solutions, Inc.