Crop Insurance

Risk Management Agency

  • Farmers can hay, graze, chop cover crops from Prevented Plant fields starting September 1 instead of November 1 for 2019. 

  • You can read about Prevented Planting Insurance Provisions for Flooding here. You can also read the FAQs for more information. 

  • Corn may be allowed as an acceptable cover crop on Prevent Plant acres. RMA has deferred to state universities on acceptable cover crops. The University of Illinois issued a letter on June 20 addressing the use of corn as a cover crop and deeming it an acceptable agronomic practice. 

  • Some crop insurance companies prefer their customers use local “ag experts” to verify that corn as a cover crop is acceptable in their areas in addition to the UI announcement for the entire state. Local expertise adds a layer of protection to the farmer/ customer. 

Farm Service Agency

Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS has published recommendations for cover crops on Prevent Plant fields. They have also recently published an acceptable variance for their Illinois Cover Crop Practice Standard (340) for the 2019 year for Prevent Plant acres. (Source: Illinois Bulletin No. IL 180-19-8). This variance does not apply to acres enrolled in Financial Assistance programs (EQIP, CSP). The variance adds seeding criteria for corn, soybeans, and forage sorghum. 


  • Row spacing: 15 inches or less which would include split row planters, drills, and broadcast methods. 
  • Seed rate: 40,000-50,000 seeds/ac (90% or more germination). 
  • Herbicides may be used for weed control. Strict adherence to pesticide labels needs to be followed to ensure crop safety to the 2020 crop and applicable restrictions for cover crop corn that will be used for forage. 
  • End of season residue management needs to consider impacts on HEL compliance for 2020. 


  • Row spacing: 15 inches or less which would include split row planters, drills, and  broadcast methods. 
  • Seed rate: minimum of 140,000 seeds/ac (80% or more germination)  
  • Forage Sorghum: 5-10 pls lbs./ac 

Bin Run Seed: Due to the shortage of available cover crop seed, using bin run seed such as oats or wheat but excluding corn and soybeans is allowable. Using seed “straight from the bin” should not be considered. Seed stored in bins contain chaff and other foreign material. The most worrisome component of the foreign material is weed seeds. There  is a high potential to introduce weeds including prohibited noxious weeds into a field when using uncleaned bin run seed. Therefore, it is very important to have bin run seed cleaned prior to use as cover crop seed. Secondly, a sample of cleaned seed should be tested to determine germination and purity. The quality of stored grain to be used for cover crop seed cannot be assumed. The use of bin run corn and soybeans for use as a cover crop seed are likely restricted due to agreements under which the seed for the currently binned corn and soybeans was purchased. Corn and soybeans currently in bins may also be restricted for use as cover crop seed due to Plant Variety  Protection (PVP) rights. See the Illinois Crop Improvement Association web page for more information.  

USDA Risk Management Agency 

Q: Has the Risk Management Agency delayed the deadline for paying crop insurance premiums for spring-planted crops?  
A: Yes. On August 15, 2019, the RMA announced it is deferring accrual of interest on crop insurance premium payments to help farmers affected by extreme weather in 2019.  

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr. issued the following statement:   

“USDA’s decision to defer interest accrual of all agriculture producers’ spring 2019 crop insurance payments lends farmers much-needed flexibility in a year that hasn’t afforded them many wins, either in the field or in the markets.  

Farmers feeling the stress of this year’s weather challenges and volatile commodity prices can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have a bit more time to pay their crop insurance premiums without the threat of accruing additional interest. The interest deferral will certainly help Illinois farmers as billing dates approach, yet late-planted crops are not ready to harvest.  

“Illinois Farm Bureau leaders advocated for the deadline extension during a June visit to D.C. In addition, Illinois elected officials offered timely support this summer with the submission of House-sponsored and Senate-sponsored formal letters to RMA Administrator Martin Barbre asking for the extension. We’re grateful for the leadership of U.S. Reps. Kelly and Bost, U.S. Sens. Duckworth and Durbin and each of the members of the Illinois congressional delegation who recognized the need – our concerns were heard.  

The RMA has my personal thanks for their recognition of and response to this unusually stressful time for ag producers.” 

Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois’ congressional delegation advocated for this change most of the summer.