On July 1, 2019, the Risk Management Agency issued a news release entitled “Multi-Peril Crop Insurance Change Impact Insurability of Summer Fallow Wheat for the 2020 Crop Year.” In that news release, RMA stated that the fire emergency identified the need to develop an exception for the summer fallow practice when conservation requirements make it necessary. Wildfires destroyed thousands of acres of harvestable wheat in July 2018. Conservationists recommended planting cover crops to mitigate the erosion risk. Producers were concerned because 2018 wheat crops would be uninsurable as summer fallow in 2020 if a cover crop was planted. RMA determined it could revise its Special Provisions to grant relief to those producers who plant cover crops during the 2019 crop year in summer fallow acreage that is insured. The release states that fire-effected producers and others who plant a cover crop during the 2019 crop year can maintain insurability under the summer fallow practice as long as the cover crop is terminated in accordance with the Natural Resource and Conservation Service Cover Crop Termination Guidelines.
ANALYSIS – This press release appears to be consistent with MGR-19-017 and the Fact Sheet issued on June 28, 2019. It simply appears to be directed at certain Washington counties for the 2020 crop year. However, to be clear, these new summer fallow and cover crop practices apply to all crops and counties where summer fallow is an acceptable practice.
All statements made are opinions of the author and are not intended to provide legal opinions or legal advice.