The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency has announced that farmers will have more time to ensure that their crops are properly insured after an uncommonly wet spring last year. Farmers are required to terminate their cover crops in order to obtain insurance coverage for their main crops. The original deadline for this termination was scheduled for May 15 of this year. The Risk Management Agency has pushed that back to June 5.
Farmers will be required to terminate their cover crops regardless of their stage of growth by this time. The original deadline was particularly troublesome for farmers because of the numerous storms that brought heavy rainfall last year. Farmers relied on their cover crops to continue producing food after the disaster prone year. Farmers are continuing to rely on these crops to help them recover.
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The agency chose to push back the deadline to help ensure the livelihood of farmers. Despite these changes, the agency is advising farmers to meet with insurance agents in order to ensure that their coverage is appropriate and falls within federal guidelines. The added flexibility may help farmers cope with a catastrophic year, but more work needs to be done before recovery can be fully realized. The agency will continue to work with farmers and the federal government to find ways to help farmers handle natural disasters and continue producing food for the rest of the U.S.