Paul D. Mitchell, Extension State Specialist in Cropping Systems and Environmental Management, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
On June 20, the USDA RMA announced relaxation of the rules restricting forage production on prevented plant acres: https://www.rma.usda.gov/Policy-and-Procedure/Bulletins-and-Memos/2019/MGR-19-015. Farmers now only have to wait until after September 1 and can also make silage, haylage or baylage from the cover crop planted on prevented plant acres (as well as bale hay/bedding or graze as before). Previously, farmers had to wait until after November 1 and could only bale hay or graze the prevented plant acres. Farmers still cannot harvest grain or seed from cover crops planted on prevented plant acres. This change will help many WI farmers dealing with forage shortages due to low hay stocks, winter kill and the wet spring. A variety of resources are available online and from the ag media, including these for Wisconsin (https://aae.wisc.edu/pdmitchell/CropInsurance/CornSoyasCoverCrop.pdf and https://aae.wisc.edu/pdmitchell/CropInsurance/LatePreventPlant2019.pdf). As always, we strongly encourage farmers to communicate with their crop insurance agents to be sure that their specific plans for prevented plant acres are allowable, otherwise a farmer may lose part or all of their prevented plant indemnity or insurance coverage.