RMA has received questions from policyholders and Approved Insurance Providers on whether relay cropping is an insurable practice.
Relay cropping is defined as:
“A cropping practice where a second-planted crop (“relay crop”) is planted into an established crop (other than a cover crop) where the crops are planted in a manner that allows separate agronomic maintenance and harvest of the crops unless otherwise defined in the Crop Provisions. Damage to either crop during planting, harvest, or general maintenance of either crop will be considered an uninsurable cause of loss.”
Policyholders view relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification with the potential of increasing overall production value on the acreage. This practice is growing in popularity among policyholders utilizing acres to produce two crops for harvest within the same crop year. The most common reported relay cropping practice is planting soybeans into an established winter small grain crop, such as wheat or rye.
For the 2022 and succeeding crop years, RMA will allow soybeans relay cropped into an established small grain crop to be insurable via written agreement.
The written agreement request must:
- Be submitted as an unrated practice/type (TP) request type by the acreage reporting date deadline for new requests; and
- Include evidence of adaptability from an agricultural expert that relay cropping is an acceptable practice for the requested location.
- In addition, RMA will utilize the zones defined in the NRCS Cover Crop Termination Guidelines (see map below) to implement separate production requirements. Policyholders requesting a written agreement to insure the relay cropping practice in a county located in Zones 1, 2, or 3, for a non-irrigated practice, must submit at least the most recent three years of their relay cropping actual production history from the county or area; or Zone 4 for a non-irrigated practice or policyholders insuring soybeans under the irrigated practice, requires no prior relay cropping actual production history.
Zone Guidance Map: