The crop insurance industry helps farmers manage risk and maintain the long term health of American agriculture. Crop insurance functions well because it is designed to be actuarially sound and because participants must follow good farming practices that are based on research and sound science. Absent those traits, taxpayers could be harmed as associated program costs rise. In 2013, an inter-agency USDA task force released the “NRCS Cover Crops Terminations Guidelines (NRCS Guidelines),” which serve as the cover crop management guide for all USDA agencies.
Farmers who choose to incorporate cover crops into their operations and participate in the Federal crop insurance program must follow these guidelines and provisions of the insurance policy for the crop they are insuring. Insurance companies are following these guidelines and associated insurance policy procedures as they insure their customers. Producers interested in exploring how cover crops can fit into their farming operations are encouraged to discuss all available options with their agronomic advisors and their crop insurance agent to verify their plan follows good farming practices and meets crop insurance requirements.
Crop insurance exists to protect growers’ cash crops and to prevent financial ruin when events outside of their control occur. It has evolved to become the cornerstone of farm policy because it uses hard data and science to control taxpayer cost. For crop insurance to continue functioning well for both farmers and taxpayers, its guidelines and procedures must be based on the best information available while critical research is being performed for the future.
The crop insurance industry is following current USDA cover crop guidelines. We support continued agronomic research to determine how farmers can best incorporate cover crops and other Best Management Practices in their operations and to determine what impact those practices may have on the insured crop.
For more information on cover crops, please click here.
For cover crop and crop insurance information specific to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, please click here.