Cover Crops in MO, NE, KS and CO
Insuring Crops Planted Following a Cover Crop
Feb 15, 2012
The following statement, frequently referred to as the “double crop” statement, is part of the actuarial documents for certain states and counties in the Topeka Region:
Insurance shall not attach or be considered to have attached on any planted non-irrigated acreage from which, in the same calendar year: 1) a perennial hay crop was harvested; or 2) another crop, including a cover crop, has reached the headed or budded stage prior to termination (regardless of the percentage of plants that reached the headed or budded stage) or has been harvested.
Q: What is the purpose of the “double-crop” statement?
A: The “double crop” statement is part of the Special Provisions in counties throughout Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. It attaches to most non-irrigated, spring planted crops (e.g. corn, soybeans)
Q: What is RMA’s definition of a cover crop?
A: 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.
Q: I am following my cover crop with non-irrigated soybeans, which I want to insure. Agricultural experts have advised me that I should “keep the cover crop on until the (cash) crop is ready to be planted”. What is RMA Topeka Regional Office’s advice?
A: For insurance to attach to your soybeans, your cover crop must be terminated before it reaches the headed or budded stage. As soon as the first head or bud appears in your cover crop, insurance cannot attach to the soybeans.
RMA recommends that you discuss plans related to cover crops with your crop insurance agent prior to planting the cover crop.
Q: I use a cover crop mix in my field. Some varieties head or bud earlier than others. For crop insurance purposes, at what point is that cover crop considered to be headed or budded?
A: The moment the first head or bud appears in your field. Once the cover crop reaches the headed or budded stage prior to termination, regardless of the percentage of plants that reached the headed or budded stage, insurance cannot attach to the subsequent non-irrigated crop if the “double crop” statement is on the Special Provisions.
Q: Does the cover crop need to be terminated by chemical or mechanical means?
A: No. As long as the cover crop is terminated by any means (including winterkill) before any plant reaches the headed or budded stage, a subsequent crop may be planted and insured provided all other insurability conditions are met. However, if not all plants are terminated and if any reach the headed or budded stage the insurability of the following non-irrigated crop is affected.