Prevented plant acres planted to cover crops: Kansas NRCS program and RMA rule changes
On June 28 the Kansas NRCS announced a special Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) sign-up to assist farmers with part of the cost for planting cover crop on prevented plant acres. To be eligible farmers must be in one of the Governor-declared counties in Kansas who could not plant their crops because of flooded or wet fields. The deadline to apply is July 26, 2019. Farmers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS office to determine their eligibility and apply for this assistance.
Some considerations to be aware about when considering this program include:
1. Grazing the cover crops will be permitted after September 1.
2. Haying the cover crop is not permitted.
3. Chopping the cover crop for silage is not permitted.
In addition to the Kansas NRCS special EQIP program announcement, the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) on announced on June 20 a nationwide change to the Haying and Grazing date for prevented plant acres planted to cover crops. For this year only, on or after September 1, 2019, farmers can hay, graze, or cut cover crops for silage, haylage, or baleage on prevented plant acres and still maintain their eligibility for full 2019 prevented planting indemnity.
In summary, farmers considering the Kansas NRCS special EQIP incentive program need to be aware that the program requirements are more restrictive than the 2019 USDA-RMA rules for haying and grazing prevented planting acres planted to a cover crop.
For additional information, please see the following press releases:
Peter Tomlinson, Environmental Quality Specialist