ICA: Farmers must terminate cover crops by May 10
AMES, IOWA – Many Iowa farmers planted cover crops in 2012 as a means to create more livestock feeding and forage options for this past winter. However, this spring they will need to terminate those cover crops by May 10 in order to remain eligible for crop insurance, cautions the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
“The use of cover crops has increased by 20 times over the past three years,” says Justine Stevenson, ICA’s director of government relations and public policy. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service says about 100,000 acres of cover crops were planted in Iowa in 2012, compared to 5,000 Iowa acres in 2009.
“While NRCS is recommending that farmers terminate cover crops two weeks before planting, that just doesn’t provide enough certainty and direction,” Stevenson says. “Iowa is in the St. Paul, Minn. district of the USDA’s Risk Management Agency. That means if the cover crop hasn’t been terminated by May 10, farmers will not be eligible to use the government’s crop insurance program on those acres planted to corn, soybeans or other crops this spring and summer.”
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