WASHINGTON — Corn farmers who “split-apply” nitrogen now have another option for insurance coverage. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced the details of its Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) 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.
“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. The first sales closing date to purchase insurance is March 15, 2022.
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.
This new crop insurance option builds upon RMA’s efforts to encourage use of conservation practices, including cover crops. For example, RMA recently provided $59.5 million in premium support for producers who planted cover crops on 12.2 million acres through the new Pandemic Cover Crop Program. Additionally, RMA recently updated policy to allow producers with crop insurance to hay, graze or chop cover crops at any time and still receive 100% of the prevented planting payment. This policy change supports use of cover crops, which can help producers build resilience to drought.
Upon USDA’s announcement, Todd Barker, CEO of the Meridian Institute, released the following statement:
“Corn farmers across the Midwest have adapted to changing conditions, including adopting climate-smart practices like split-nitrogen application, and the Federal Crop Insurance Program must continue to evolve to meet the needs of farmers across the country. With the availability of PACE in the crop insurance market, USDA, RMA, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board, and the Biden Administration have taken an important step forward to ensuring that the nation’s agriculture sector is resilient and strong for the long-term.”
To learn more about PACE, visit the RMA’s Conservation webpage, which has frequently asked questions, a fact sheet and other resources.
RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail, and electronically to support crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.
PACE was developed by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company, Meridian Institute, and others and submitted to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation under provisions in the law allowing for private development of new crop insurance products. For more details on PACE, check with your Approved Insurance Providers.
— USDA Risk Management Agency
— Meridian Institute