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Frequently Asked Questions

2013 Crop Year New Breaking Written Agreements

Nov 28, 2012

Q1. What constitutes "New Breaking Acreage"?
A1: Acreage that has not been planted and harvested or insured (including insured acreage that was prevented from being planted) in at least one of the three previous crop years or acreage where the only crop that has been planted and harvested in one of the three previous crop years was a cover, hay, or forage crop is new breaking acreage.

Q2. What is 'new' for New Breaking in 2013?
A2: Your insurance company may now insure, without a written agreement, new breaking acreage of 320 acres or less (on a whole field basis) per county. Approval and the appropriate yield on the new breaking acreage will depend on how many requirements, listed in A3, are met. Acreage in excess of the 320 acres per county limitation will require a written agreement from RMA to establish insurability.

Q2.1 What does "whole field basis" mean?
A2.1: "Field" refers to Farm Service Agency designated field boundary, also known as a common land unit (CLU). Determination of insurability is made on a field-by-field basis, not an acre-by-acre basis.

Q3. Did the maximum yield available for new breaking acreage change in 2013?
A3: Yes. Whether your insurance company insures, or RMA (via written agreement) approves your request, the maximum yield available on the new breaking acreage is now 80 percent of the applicable published county T-Yield in the actuarial documents. This maximum yield is only available if:

  1. 75% of the new breaking acreage soils, by field, is comprised of class I-IV soils, using the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Web Soil Survey;
  2. The policyholder certifies the acreage was broken out or chemically destroyed prior to planting NOTE: depending on the county within the Topeka region, the land will be required to have been broken or chemically sprayed prior to planting in the eastern most counties of the region and on or before November 30th prior to planting in the western area of the region;
  3. The policyholder documents the acreage has been previously broken and planted to a crop. The prior crop year's Farm Service Agency Acreage Report form (FSA 578), or an FSA 578 from the year the crop was planted, showing that the ground intended to be broken was classified as "Cropland" is the best form of documentation; and
  4. If NRCS requires a conservation plan on the acreage, the policyholder provides documentation that one is, or will be, in place. If a conservation plan is not required, then the policyholder must certify that one is not required.

If only #1, #2 and #4 of the above requirements are met, then the new breaking acreage will be insurable at 65 percent of the applicable published county T-Yield in the actuarial documents.

Q4. When is a written agreement from RMA necessary to establish insurability of the new breaking acreage?
A4: To establish insurability, a written agreement is required only if the new breaking acreage:

  1. Exceeds the 320-acre per county limitation. Note: Only the acreage that exceeds 320 acres will require a written agreement; or
  2. Does not meet requirements #1, #2, and #4 listed in A3.

Q5. What is the deadline to make a New breaking written agreement request for coverage for the 2013 crop year?
A5: For 2013 crop year, all requests for spring planted New Breaking written agreements will have to be signed and submitted to your agent by March 15, 2013. This deadline is noted in the following statement, which is a special provision in the actuarial documents:

For acreage that requires a written agreement for insurability per Section 9(a)(1)(iv) of the Basic Provisions (new breaking written agreement), the written agreement request must be submitted by the applicable sales closing date in lieu of section 18(e)(2)(i)(B) and in accordance with section 18(e)(2)(iii).

Q6. What are the most common reasons for RMA denying New Breaking written agreement requests?
A6: In the Topeka region, a common reason for a denial of written agreement is the acreage does not meet the Class I-IV soil criteria. Another common reason for denial is the written agreement request is incomplete. For instance, some requests are missing information on the date and/or method the acreage was broke out, while others are missing signatures, information on field units, maps or other required information.

Q7. I have land that I will be bringing back into production that has been in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Are there different procedures for insuring my crop on these acres?
A7: Yes. Section 9(a)(1)(i)(A) of the Basic Provisions provides the basis for coverage on land emerging from CRP.

"Acreage that has not been planted and harvested (grazing is not considered harvested for the purpose of section 9(a)(1) or insured in at least one of the three previous crop years may still be insurable if: (i) Such acreage was not planted: (A) In at least two of the three previous crop years to comply with any other USDA program;".

This means that a new breaking written agreement is not required if in at least two of the three previous crop years the land was not planted due to its enrollment in CRP. The Crop Insurance Handbook Section 15H provides procedure for establishing yields for land coming out of CRP. Please contact your crop insurance agent for questions regarding land emerging from CRP.

Contact Information

For more information, contact the Topeka Regional Office.