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Universities, Risk Management Agency working on double cropping and early planting guidelines

A University of Wisconsin researcher says USDA’s Risk Management Agency has been working with universities to change crop insurance early planting dates. Soybean and small grains specialist Shawn Conley says, “We’re really trying to update some of these archaic or old dates.”

Shawn Conley

Conley tells Brownfield the early planting dates need to change nationwide, saying for example that May 26th in North Carolina is ridiculous. “Even up here in Wisconsin where a lot of our counties are around that April 26th date, we’re trying to push it back to April 20th and so we’ve had a lot of input with RMA to try to make some changes.”

Conley says he also worked with the RMA on changing the double-crop map to cover more northern counties, reaching into Wisconsin. “They’ve gone through and developed some counties where farmers can seek this additional crop insurance if they want to try double-cropping soybeans following winter wheat next year, so I think that’s a good opportunity to work with the crop insurance industry. Look into that option.”

Conley says the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board has also been working with the university to update recommendations for double cropping. “Seeding rates, what maturity group bean, the genetic platforms, so look for that information to be out.”

Conley says the double cropping maps for soybeans and sorghum showing extended 2023 coverage have been released by USDA, but there is no approval yet for moving up the early planting dates.

The following additional information was provided to Brownfield by the USDA Risk Management Agency:

Written agreements will be the primary tool for expanding the insurability of double cropping in the state. Producers will submit written agreement requests through their insurance agents to request insurability for double-cropped soybeans. Requests will be reviewed based on crop combinations (soybeans following winter wheat, soybeans following alfalfa, soybeans following green peas, etc.). Offers may include changes to the final plant date, T-yield, rates, or a reference county may be used where the practice is already insurable.

Separate from the double cropping initiative, the soybean Earliest Planting Date (EPD) is currently being reviewed as part of RMA’s Program Performance Assessment. The review included outreach to agricultural experts such as Dr. Conley. We are still in the process of reviewing and considering updates to the existing EPDs. If any changes are made for crop year 2023, they will be available on the Actuarial Information Browser by the soybean Contract Change Date of November 30, 2022.  

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