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Consider forage options for prevent plant acres

A dairy forage specialist says grain farmers who missed the crop insurance planting deadline might want to look beyond a simple cover crop .

Daniel Olson with Forage Innovations tells Brownfield USDA has changed the rules on prevent plant acres over the past several years. “Of course, you want the farmers to always talk to their crop insurance people, but there’s two things that have changed. The one is that it freed up a little bit of what the definition of cover crops are that you can plant on these prevent plant acres, and then the other is the timing of harvest.” He says there is no longer a November 1st harvesting limitation for cover crop forage.

Olson says corn and soybean producers might find growing the right forage on prevent plant acres is a better option, but if the plan is to sell that forage to a dairy farm, Olson says to have a buyer lined up before planting anything. “Farmers are in a fairly solid inventory situation, and that hasn’t been the case for a while, so that could limit the opportunities in some neighborhoods to sell products, especially if they’re not extremely high quality.”

Olson says prevent plant gives corn and soybean producers an opportunity to apply manure and grow a useful cover crop while controlling weeds and improving soil health.

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