Ag Policy Blog

USDA Offers Insurance Endorsement for Farmers Who Split Apply Nitrogen

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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A farmer applies nitrogen to a corn crop during the growing season. Starting next year, USDA will offer an endorsement to insurance policies for farmers who split-apply nitrogen to non-irrigated corn in certain states. (DTN file photo)

Starting next spring, corn farmers who "split apply" their nitrogen applications will have another insurance option. USDA on Wednesday announced that the Risk Management Agency will offer the Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE).

And truly, someone at USDA deserves an outstanding achievement certificate for the accomplishment for carving out yet another niche for the use of "PACE" in the federal library of acronyms. There are roughly 107 other known acronym uses for PACE globally with multiple programs and phrases at the Department of Defense (Air Force, Navy), Department of Education, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, NOAA and NASA, just to name a few. And then there are private organizations, such as People Against Chimpanzee Experiments. Split Apply Coverage Endorsement (SACE) just wouldn't have had the same catchy connection as PACE. Congratulations to all involved here.

A couple of things about PACE:

It will apply to farmers for non-irrigated corn production.

It will be available in "certain states" which USDA did not define in its news release. "RMA will share additional details later this year."

Effectively PACE will apply to farmers who split-apply nitrogen during the growing season rather than providing all of the nitrogen in a single treatment. PACE will provide payments for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the in-season nitrogen application.

USDA noted the split application can lead to lower input costs as well as helps reduce runoff or leaching of nitrogen into waterways and groundwater. "This is because it is used in more targeted amounts over multiple applications, rather than one large application."

"USDA is committed to building insurance options that encourage use of practices that are better for the environment and for producers' bottom lines," said Richard Flournoy, RMA's RMA acting administrator. "We are able to offer the PACE thanks to the cooperation of our partners, including the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company and Meridian Institute."

USDA added that RMA has offered multiple announcements this year to help spur conservation practices.

RMA recently provided premium support for producers who planted cover crops. RMA also updated policies to allow haying and grazing of cover crops at any time and still receive 100% of the prevented-planting payment.

NCGA applauded the announcement of the new policy. "PACE will play an extremely important role in helping farmers navigate changing weather conditions. We applaud the Illinois Corn Growers Association and our other partners for working to develop this new insurance product and are appreciative of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for seeing its value and approving its use. We look forward to working with USDA as it rolls out this new product."

More policy details can be found at: https://www.rma.usda.gov/…

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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