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USDA-RMA announces change to Haying & Grazing date for Prevent Plant acres in 2019

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

USDA-RMA has announced an important update to Prevent Plant guidelines by adjusting the final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 for the 2019 season. See below for the full press release (reprinted below).

Note, be very strategic in what herbicides you use or be mindful of what you have used on prevent plant acres if you plan to hay or graze the cover crop so you do not run afoul of herbicide rotational restrictions (the amount of time you must wait after herbicide application before planting a cover crop for forage or grazing). More common species such as cereal rye, oats, barley, and wheat often have much shorter rotational restrictions compared to species like radish or turnip. Many cover crops may not be listed on the herbicide label, so would fall under the most restrictive rotational restriction. If you are planning to graze or hay the cover crop, you must follow rotational restrictions listed on the herbicide label while you have more flexibility if you are just planting the cover crop for soil health benefits since the cover crop will not enter for food or feed chain.

If you are considering a burn-down herbicide application before planting a cover crop for feed or forage, note Basagran has no rotational restrictions on the label while glyphosate has no rotational restrictions for most crops and only a 30-day rotational restriction for crops not listed on the label (e.g. forage sorghum, sudangrass). 2,4-D, Sharpen, Buctril, Resource, and dicamba also have short rotational restrictions (up to 30 days/1 month) for many crops.

University of Wisconsin Extension has published a nice summary of many of these restrictions, but be sure to check herbicide labels for the most up-to-date information: Also refer to the University of Minnesota Extension website "Using herbicides and cover crops in corn and soybean" ( for further details.

If you are planning to use leftover treated seed in a cover crop planting, note there can be forage or grazing restrictions due to the seed treatment. For example, the grazing or feeding of soybean forage and hay for livestock when soybean was treated with ILeVo is not allowed according to the seed tag label. Also, do not graze or feed livestock on treated areas for 45 days after planting seed treated with Clariva Elite Bean. Check your seed tag label for any potential grazing or haying restrictions.

For further details and information about prevent plant and cover crop options see:

Press Release, reprinted from USDA-RMA:

RMA Announces Change to Haying and Grazing Date for Prevented Planting Acres Planted to a Cover Crop

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2019 – Farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres will be permitted to hay, graze or chop those fields earlier than November this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) adjusted the 2019 final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 to help farmers who were prevented from planting because of flooding and excess rainfall this spring.

“We recognize farmers were greatly impacted by some of the unprecedented flooding and excessive rain this spring, and we made this one-year adjustment to help farmers with the tough decisions they are facing this year,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “This change will make good stewardship of the land easier to accomplish while also providing an opportunity to ensure quality forage is available for livestock this fall.”

RMA has also determined that silage, haylage and baleage should be treated in the same manner as haying and grazing for this year. Producers can hay, graze or cut cover crops for silage, haylage or baleage on prevented plant acres on or after September 1 and still maintain eligibility for their full 2019 prevented planting indemnity.

“These adjustments have been made for 2019 only,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “RMA will evaluate the prudence of a permanent adjustment moving forward.”

Other USDA Programs

Other USDA agencies are also assisting producers with delayed or prevented planting. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the deadline to report prevented plant acres in select counties, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is holding special sign-ups for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in certain states to help with planting cover crops on impacted lands. Contact your local FSA and NRCS offices to learn more.

More Information

Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about prevented plant.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at

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