Crops News

New insurance option for conservation-minded corn farmers

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Corn farmers who “split-apply” nitrogen now have another option for insurance coverage. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency announced the details of its Post Application Coverage Endorsement in certain states for non-irrigated corn, providing coverage for producers who use this practice that saves producers money and is considered better for natural resources. 

In crop year 2022, RMA introduced the Post Application Coverage Endorsement to help corn farmers improve water quality while gaining efficiencies and reducing costs by specifically supporting the practice of “split application.” In this case, nitrogen is used in more targeted amounts over multiple applications, rather than one large application. The sales closing date is March 15.

“We are proud to offer this new insurance option that encourages the use of conservation practices that benefit not just the environment, but also producers’ balance sheets,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “America’s agricultural communities are on the frontlines crafting solutions to address climate change and improve the environment. Across USDA, we’re adapting our programs to meet the needs of producers as well as the challenges they face.”  

PACE provides payments for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post nitrogen application during the V3-V10 corn growth stages due to field conditions created by weather. PACE is offered in select counties in 11 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP), and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE) policies. 

To “split-apply” nitrogen, growers make multiple fertilizer applications during the growing season rather than providing all the crop’s nitrogen requirements with a single treatment before or during planting. This practice can lead to lower input costs and helps prevent runoff and leaching of nutrients into waterways and groundwater. 

“PACE is an important addition to the risk management toolbox for corn growers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “We are appreciative of our industry partners and the Risk Management Agency for working to develop and deliver this new crop insurance product. ”

In addition to the new crop insurance, RMA recently updated policy to allow producers with crop insurance to hay, graze or chop cover crops at any time and still receive 100 percent of the prevented planting payment to encourage use of conservation practices. This policy change supports use of cover crops, which can help producers build resilience to drought.

To learn more about PACE, visit the RMA’s Conservation webpage, which has frequently asked questions, a fact sheet and other resources.   

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