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Irrigated Prevented Planting - Nebraska
FAQs

The Topeka Regional Office has received a number of questions concerning irrigated prevented planting eligibility due to drought in Colorado.

The Topeka Regional Office has received a number of questions concerning irrigated prevented planting eligibility due to drought in Nebraska. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions. Additional questions and answers may be provided as more information becomes available.

Q: I have been informed that there may be reduced water availability for irrigation. What are my alternatives for insuring the crop for the 2013 crop year?
A: Under current crop insurance policies and procedures, to insure your crop as irrigated, you must apply at the appropriate times the quantity of water needed to produce at least the yield used to determine the production guarantee or amount of insurance. The yield used to determine the production guarantee is also known as your Actual Production History (APH) yield.

If you intend to apply less water than used to establish your irrigated practice APH yield on the irrigated acreage planted to the insured crop, regardless of the reason, you have the following options:

  • Apply the amount of water needed to produce the irrigated APH yield on a reduced number of acres and report the remaining acres as non-irrigated; if coverage is available for a non-irrigated practice of the crop;
  • Apply less water to the total acreage than used to establish your irrigated APH yield and report the total acreage as non-irrigated, if coverage is available for a non-irrigated practice of the crop; or
  • Apply the amount of water needed to produce the irrigated APH yield on a reduced number of acres and leave the remaining acres idle and claim a prevented planting guarantee, if eligible.

Q: What types of information must I have in order to qualify for a prevented planting payment?
A: In order to qualify for a prevented planting payment, an insurable cause of loss must have occurred within the prevented planting insurance period. For carryover insureds (producers who had insurance for the 2012 crop year on the crop), the prevented planting insurance period begins on the sales closing date for the previous crop year.

For example, the corn sales closing date is March 15, 2013, for the 2013 crop year. An insurable cause of loss, such as drought occurs on or after March 15, 2012, and negatively affects irrigation water availability for the 2013 crop year. In this case, the insured could be eligible for a prevented planting payment.
For new insureds, the prevented planting insurance period begins on the sales closing date for the insured crop in the county for the crop year the producer's application is accepted.
For example, the corn sales closing date is March 15, 2013, for the 2013 crop year. The insured takes out a corn application for the 2013 crop year on March 1, 2013. An insured cause of loss, such as drought occurs on or after March 15, 2013, and prevents the insured from planting corn by the final planting date. In this case, the insured could be eligible for a prevented planting payment. An insurable cause of loss occurring prior to March 15, 2013, would be outside the PP insurance period.
You must keep and provide all documentation to your company regarding the amount of water you will receive for the crop year and any justification provided for any reductions in their allocation.

Documentation of water shortfalls must be verified from information from local irrigation authorities responsible for water allocations, State Departments of Water Resources, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service or other sources responsible for collection of water data or regulation of water resources. These sources are also used to document whether all or a portion of the acres could be irrigated if average precipitation had occurred within the prevented planting insurance period.

Q: I am a surface water irrigator with my source being a reservoir. This year the reservoir is below normal and I have been told I will have reduced irrigation supply. How can I calculate the reduction due to insurable causes of loss?
A: The following answer applies solely for Nebraska and is specific to the 2013 crop year. Surface water irrigators must first demonstrate their irrigation source inflows are correlated to precipitation throughout the prevented planting insurance period. Once this is determined, the general calculation is a comparison of most probable inflows to your reservoirs during the prevented planting insurance period against actual inflows for the same period. However, each case must be reviewed individually as each insured’s situation is unique. It is the insured’s responsibility to provide information to support his/her prevented planting claim.

Q: Are both sources of irrigation water (surface and wells) eligible?
A: Yes. But, in most cases it is not possible to establish the amount of reduction in well water that is attributable to an insured cause of loss that occurred within the insurance period, and is thus difficult to prove prevented planting eligibility. If an insured has well water, it may be that the well water can make up the difference in the lack of surface water and all acres could be planted under an irrigated practice.

Q: If I receive a prevented planting payment for a spring crop and then plant the acreage to a cover crop for conservation purposes, will the cover crop be treated as a second crop and reduce my payment?
A:

  • If a cover crop is planted after the end of the late planting period (or final planting date if no late planting period is applicable) for an insured crop that is prevented from being planted, but is not hayed or grazed before November 1 of the crop year, the prevented planting payment will not be reduced.
  • If a cover crop is hayed or grazed after the late planting period (or final planting date if no late planting period is applicable) for an insured crop that is prevented from being planted and prior to November 1 of the crop year, the prevented planting payment will be reduced to 35 percent.
  • If a cover crop is hayed or grazed after November 1 of the crop year in which an insured crop is prevented from being planted, the prevented planting payment will not be reduced.
  • A cover crop harvested for grain, seed, etc., is presumed not to have been grown for conservation or soil improvement and the policy provisions for second crops or crops planted before the end of the late planting period will apply.

Q: My irrigation district notified the producers that it decided to deliver water (surface water - through canals) over a shorter period than normal in order to provide more water with each release. With this shorter period, I will not be able to irrigate any acres with enough water throughout the growing season to grow my APH yield. Am I eligible for prevented planting on all acres of the crop?
A: Prevented planting coverage may be available if all necessary conditions and documentation are met. In this case, the number of eligible prevented planting acres will be determined based on the number of acres on which an irrigated practice could have been carried out if the district would have followed the normal, longer water release time period. The decision to deliver the water in a different manner than historically done is an administrative decision and not an insurable cause of loss.

Q: My irrigation district notified the producers that they only have enough available water to deliver water over a shorter period than normal. With this shorter period, I will not be able to irrigate any acres with enough water throughout the growing season to grow my APH yield.

1) Can I claim prevented planting on all my acres of the crop?
A: If the reduction of irrigation water was due to an insurable cause of loss that occurred in the insurance period, and your irrigation district could not deliver adequate water to irrigate any acreage over the normal longer time period, prevented planting coverage could be available on all eligible acres. If the irrigation district notified the producers of the water shortage prior to the prevented planting insurance period only a portion of the loss attributable to the insured cause of loss within the insurance period will be covered and the eligible acres for a prevented planting payment will be reduced accordingly.

2) Can I elect to use what little water is available and apply it to my uninsured crop?
A: If you have other acreage on which an uninsured crop is grown and these acres are not eligible for a prevented planting payment and can be irrigated, (i.e. alfalfa) the available irrigation water can be applied to those acres without affecting the prevented planting eligibility.

Any crop planted on acres on which a prevented planting guarantee is available, other than a cover crop, is subject to 1st crop 2nd crop provisions.
Keep in mind, if the same amount of water is available as in previous years, a producer’s decision to change cropping patterns or to plant crops with greater water use requirements does not constitute an insurable cause of loss. If the amount of available water is reduced due to insured causes, a prevented planting payment can be paid only on the amount of acreage associated with the amount of water lost due to insured causes.

Contact Information

For more information, contact the Topeka Regional Office.