All corn acres in the U.S. have passed final planting days, meaning they are eligible for prevent plant acres. As of last week, there was only 67 percent of corn planted nationally and only 80 percent of corn in Iowa.
Prevented planting is a crop insurance farmers use to protect from delays. After a certain time of year some crops lose a lot of yield because of few remaining growing days.
Farmers can try to keep planting after final planting dates, but they face a reduction in coverage of 1% per day for 25 days.
Farmers typically don't use many prevent plant acres per year and do not like to leave land idle.
Duane Voy with the USDA Risk Management Agency, says farmers should talk to their crop insurance agent to see their options, "Some will likely be looking at putting some kind of crop, maybe a cover crop, possibly a forage crop, if feed is something they need. But again, I would encourage them to talk to their agent because some of these decisions impact the prevented planting payment you would get from crop insurance and it might reduce the amount you get."
One of the options for farmers is planting cover crops, it can hold the soil in place if no other crops can get planted. In Iowa there are programs available to help offset the costs of planting cover crops, which can be found at the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
Voy says farmers don't have to put anything on their field, "But it is encouraged that you not let the land sit bare due to wind erosion or water erosion. Also having a living crop, can help with the soil quality and soil health. So that is encouraged but it is not required."
Voy adds, again, to talk to a crop insurance agent if you plan to use cover crops for grazing because that may reduce prevent plant payments.