By Jake Jacobs, UVM Crop Insurance Education Coordinator
Dept of Community Development and Applied Economics
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, two fifths of all land in the United States is farmland, which equates to 915 million acres and 2.1 million farms and ranches.
Of the 915 million acres of land in farms in 2012, 45.4 percent was permanent pasture, 42.6 percent was cropland, and 8.4 percent was woodland. The remaining 3.6 percent was land in farmsteads, buildings, livestock facilities, etc. Although the amount of cropland overall was down 4 percent, the amount of cropland harvested was nearly 2 percent more in 2012 than 2007. (www.agcensus.usda.gov)
There are 389.7 million acres of cropland in the United States. Cropland includes areas used for the production of adapted crops for harvest. Two subcategories of cropland are recognized: cultivated and non-cultivated. Cultivated cropland comprises land in row crops or close-grown crops and also other cultivated cropland, for example, hay land or pastureland that is in a rotation with row or close-grown crops. Non-cultivated cropland includes permanent hay land and horticultural cropland.
Cover Crops – It’s that time of the year to think about cover crops. Cover crops include grasses, legumes and forbs for seasonal cover and other conservation purposes. Cover crops are primarily used for erosion control, soil health improvement, and water quality improvement. A cover crop managed and terminated according to these guidelines is not considered a “crop” for crop insurance purposes. The cover crop may be terminated by natural causes such as frost, or intentionally terminated through chemical application, crimping, rolling, tillage, or cutting. Cover crops may be grazed or harvested as hay or silage, unless prohibited by RMA crop insurance policy provisions. Cover crops cannot be harvested for grain or seed. If you have questions about crop insurance coverage for your cover crops, contact your insurance agent. To find an agent licensed by USDA in Vermont, go to http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html.
Dairy MPP – The registration period for MPP-Dairy coverage for the year 2017 began July 1, 2016. In an effort to allow dairy producers to make well informed coverage election selections suitable to their operation’s needs, the registration and coverage election deadline has been extended to December 16, 2016. Contact your local FSA office for more information or to register.
For more information about crop insurance contact Jake Jacobs [802-656-7356 or firstname.lastname@example.org]