RMA Changes Policy on Cover Crops: Short Reprieve Given


In response to an unprecedented number of unplanted acres in the Eastern Corn Belt, the Springfield Regional RMA office has released an update to their policy requirements with regard to terminating cover crops. 

The former policy had the termination date set at May 15.  While many areas of Indiana and Ohio were hit with 1-5″ of rain on May 25 and additional rain on the 26th, this reprieve may still help producers who have living cover crops in fields intended for corn or soybeans.  As one gentlemen from Ottawa County Ohio said,  “We haven’t turned a wheel here yet, wheat topdressed 2 weeks ago, no spraying of fields done.”

Thanks to RMA for being sensitive to the producers and the weather conditions.  Thanks also to those who have worked with RMA to accomplish this reprieve.  Now let’s all pray for dry weather so the crop can be planted (or at least get the cover crops sprayed in the next 5 days) !

This field in NE Indiana has no cover crop but cannot be planted anytime soon. Is this field full of weeds at less risk to have reduced yield than one covered with crimson clover?



This Crimson Clover may have very well produced close to 150 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Yet it was not killed before May 15 and under the old policy it would not have qualified for crop insurance (as I understand the policy).

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2 Responses to RMA Changes Policy on Cover Crops: Short Reprieve Given

  1. gary weaver May 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Do you think a mixture of spring and
    winter peas along with radish would be a better mix? The spring would give quicker nitrogen and earlier cover, while the winter pea would go into and thru the winter much better.


  2. Dave May 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm #


    That’s not a bad idea! However, here in the eastern Corn Belt if the winter peas get too tall they usually do not overwinter. They will grow later into the season though, even into December.