Consult Crop Insurance Provider Regarding Delayed and Prevented Planting Fields
There are times when planting acres is simply not an option for farmers. This is the case in many parts of the Midwest after historic flooding.
The first thing that farmers need to do in the current climate is to talk with their crop insurance provider. Delayed and preventative crop insurance dates are not far off and regardless of what decisions farmers make, there are serious implications.
If you decide to take prevented planting, experts agree that planting a cover crop or an emergency forage crop is preferable to letting a field fallow all summer. Keep in mind, however, that prevented planted provisions state that a cover crop or emergency forage cannot be grazed or harvested for forage until after November 1. Further, they can never be harvested for grain without reduction to prevent plant coverage payment. This is another important discussion that farmers should have with their crop insurance provider.
If, after consultation with their crop insurance provider, a farmer decides on annual forage alternatives, there are three major issues that they need to be aware of:
Some forage options only function as a cover crop.
Some options will provide significant forage production during the summer and the early fall at an expense to prevent plant payment.
Some options will provide an aspect of grazing or harvested forage following November 1.
In other words, the strategy of what and when to plant will depend on what the final objective is for the farmer. Crops for an annual forage will include grazing, dry hay, silage and stock piling. Just some practical options would be Foxtail Millet, Japanese Millet, Hybrid Pear Millet, Sorghum X Sudan Hybrid, Oats, Wheat and Rye. Keep in mind that some options may be in short supply.
As far as forage species for prevented planting acres, farmers must review what herbicides were used for corn or soybean planting. Some herbicides from the previous growing season also could have plant-back restrictions.
According to Ag experts, winter cereals that were planted this year to be harvested next spring can be preserved in siloes for silage. These cereals make wholesome feed for livestock. Of course, moisture content will be a critical factor since these forages tend to dry-down quickly. Therefore, it is a good idea to plan harvest when the final dry matter is about 35%. Further, high-packing density is critical for adequate fermentation. Silage inoculants also are recommended.
Again, no decisions regarding delayed and prevented planting provisions should be made without talking to your crop insurance provider.