On June 20, 2019, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) released Manager’s Bulletin MGR-19-015 providing the following action:
“For the 2019 crop year only: Cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage will be treated the same as haying or grazing. In addition, all references to the November 1 date, as it relates to haying and grazing, in any procedure will be replaced with September 1.”
This has generated many questions, and in some cases, incorrect information from the media. Please be advised that while the RMA has provided relief, the RMA has not changed the definition of an acceptable a cover crop. As part of the claims process, AIPs and adjusters are required to obtain documentation to support that the planted cover crop is acceptable for the area. Adjusters must also verify that the approved cover crop was planted in a manner acceptable to agricultural expert recommendations which include, seeding rates, row width and plant spacing. Below is a link to the RMA website’s PP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Yes, you can plant corn as a cover crop this year. However, most agents are telling me it is to be drilled, broadcast or planted no more than 15” rows. AND the population rates that are to be planted it 60,000 to 80,000. The seeding timeframe is from May 1 to August 1.
The intent for corn as a cover crop is that it never produces an ear to be sold for grain. You can take it as silage after Sept. 1 for this year only.
According to the RMA website You may hay, graze or cut the cover crop for silage, but timing is important. If the cover crop is hayed, grazed or cut for silage before September 1, your prevented planting payment will be reduced by 65 percent. If it is hayed, grazed or cut for silage on or after September 1, your prevented planting payment will not be affected.
Also the website indicates that if the cover crop is cut for hay or chopped after September 1 it may be sold and receive a full prevented planting payment provided all other policy provisions have been met.
Producers need confirm their intentions with their insurance company and check with local NRCS to make sure they approve.