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Cover Crop Fact Sheet

Cover Crops

For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop must have been planted within the 12 months prior to planting the insurable crop, and be recognized as a sound agronomic conservation practice for the area.

Corn Following a Cover Crop

You may insure corn planted after a cover crop if the cover crop is terminated on or before June 5, of the current crop year. However, if the cover crop is not terminated on or before June 5, the corn is not insurable.

Soybeans Following a Cover Crop

There are two practices for soybeans – a double crop, known as Following Another Crop (FAC) and a non- double crop, known as Not Following Another Crop (NFAC). Soybeans planted after a cover crop which was terminated on or before June 5, of the current crop year are considered non-double crop. Soybeans planted following a cover crop which was terminated after June 5, of the current crop year are considered a double crop.

Double crop soybeans are not insurable in every county and have a higher premium rate. If you are growing soybeans in a county where double crop soybeans are not insurable you must have a Written Agreement to insure the soybean crop if the cover crop is killed after June 5. The Written Agreement will reflect the higher premium rate.

Interseeding Into a Cover Crop

Even when a cover crop is killed on or before June 5, corn and soybeans are not insurable if they are planted into a growing grass or legume. If you plan to interseed you can request a type/practice Written Agreement to insure the practice.

Other Crops Affected

These cover crop rules also apply to other crops, such as popcorn, sweet corn, hybrid seed corn, pumpkins, grain sorghum, and processing beans. Please talk with your crop insurance agent for information on how cover crops affect the insurability of these crops.

Insuring a Crop by Written Agreement

You can request a type/practice Written Agreement to insure double crop soybeans in a county that does not insure double crop soybeans, or for corn or soybeans interseeded into a cover crop. Written Agreements must be requested through your crop insurance agent. For more information on requesting a written agreement, please contact a crop insurance agent.

 

Insuring a Crop Following a Cover Crop

What is a cover crop?

For insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop planted for conservation within the past 12 months.

Can I insure a spring crop following a cover crop?

This fact sheet is an overview of the requirements that must be followed to insure a spring crop following a cover crop.

Corn

  • You must not hay, graze or otherwise harvest the cover crop after May 10, and

  • You must kill the cover crop at least 7 days before the corn final planting date*.

This rule also applies to popcorn, sweet corn, hybrid seed corn, and pumpkins.

Soybeans

A cover crop could change how your soybean farming practice is classified. To ensure the cover crop will not cause a change in practice:

  • · You must not hay, graze or otherwise harvest the cover crop after May 10, and

  • · You must kill the cover crop at least 7 days before the soybean final planting date*.

If these requirements are not met, your soybeans will be considered double cropped. If the double cropping practice is not available in your county, your soybeans may not be insurable. Double cropped soybeans carry a higher premium. This rule also applies to grain sorghum and processing beans.

*Contact your insurance agent, or visit our web site, for final planting dates in your county.

Can I plant into a living cover crop?

No. You are not allowed to plant a spring crop into an established grass or legume. If you want to insure the spring crop, you need to have killed the cover crop (such as spraying or tilling) before planting the spring crop.

 

Regional Contact

USDA/Risk Management Agency

Springfield Regional Office

3500 Wabash Avenue

Springfield, IL 62711-8287

Telephone: (217) 241-6600

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