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Record Prevent Plant Acreage

The Farm Service Agency is estimating 2019 prevent plant acreage at a record 19.6 million acres. That compares to the previous record of just under 11 million acres in 2011. South Dakota leads the nation with nearly 4 million acres of PP. Illinois and Ohio each had about 1.5 million acres reported as prevented plant. Minnesota has nearly 1.2 million; Indiana has 943,000 acres and North Dakota has 319,000 acres in PP.

Prevent Plant ‘Top Up’ Payments to be Paid in October

Farmers who filed a prevent plant claim will automatically receive a ‘top-up’ payment. A ten percent payment will be made to farmers with Yield Protection and Revenue Protection with the Harvest Price Option. Those with Revenue Protection will receive 15 percent.

“This has been such a tremendously tough year for producers and frankly, insurance guarantees aren’t as high as we’d like them based on the low commodity prices,” said Martin Barbre, administrator, Risk Management Agency. Barbre says the crop insurance companies will begin making the ‘top-up’ payments in mid-October. “I applaud the companies for stepping up and signing this agreement to bring these important funds to their producers.

USDA RMA Press Release

Prevent Plant Acres Total Over 19 Million

USDA’s Farm Service Agency released more information on prevent plant acres for 2019. U.S. farmers reported 11.2 million prevent plant acres of corn, 4.3 million acres of soybeans and 2.2 million acres for wheat. That makes for a grand total of more than 19 million PP acres for 2019, the most acres reported since FSA started releasing the report. In Minnesota, there are currently 1.1 million acres enrolled in prevent plant. North Dakota has over 830,00 acres enrolled, and South Dakota has 3.8 million acres. Updated information will be available each month through January 2020.

PP Claims Expected to Exceed $1 Billion

According to USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey, numerous prevented plant claims have already been paid out. “I think those claims have climbed over the $100 million mark so far and we expect that probably to pass the $1 billion mark at some point as you look at the acres that are likely to be in the prevented plant area.”

The NRCS has also announced special cost-share funding for farmers to plant cover crops in eight states. Those eight states include Minnesota and South Dakota. These cost-share dollars are available through the EQIP program.

USDA Moves Up Cover Crop Haying and Grazing Date

USDA’s Risk Management Agency has moved up the date for farmers and ranchers to start haying and grazing cover crops on prevent plant acres to September 1. The adjustment was made due to this year’s late planting season and forage shortages, with the previous date for grazing and haying being November 1.
 
Producers who use cover crops for silage, haylage or baling will remain eligible for their full 2019 prevented planting indemnity. RMA Administrator Martin Barbre says the adjustments are only made for 2019. The agency is evaluating the prudence of a permanent adjustment moving forward.
 
Full details can be found here.

Considering Cover Crops for PP Acres

In the case of prevent plant, cover crops are one option farmers are considering for fields left unplanted. NDSU Extension soil health specialist Abbey Wick is receiving questions from area farmers on the topic. Wick says one benefit is weed control.
 
“If we can put something out there to compete with weed pressures alone, I think that’s going to be a win. The other thing we can do with a full season cover crop is build some soil structure.” Wick adds another consideration is what crop will be planted next year. “For example, if soybeans will be planted next year you probably don’t need a legume in that mix this year.”
 
In response, NDSU Extension is hosting a series of Café Talks on the subject matter. The first meetings are in Casselton and Valley City on June 17, with talks to follow on June18 in Gwinner and June 20 in Jamestown. Listen to the interview with Wick.