Final Agency Determination: FAD-210
Subject: Request dated February 11, 2014, and resubmitted to the Risk Management Agency (RMA) on February 21, 2014, requesting a Final Agency Determination for the 2012 crop year regarding the interpretation of the section 1 definition of “interplanted” of the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (Basic Provisions), published at 7 C.F.R. 457.8. This request is pursuant to 7 C.F.R. § 400, subpart X.
Section 1 definition of “interplanted” of the Basic Provisions states:
Interplanted - Acreage on which two or more crops are planted in a manner that does not permit separate agronomic maintenance or harvest of the insured crop.
Section 9(a)(2)(v) of the Basic Provisions states:
9. Insurable Acreage.
(a) All acreage planted to the insured crop in the county in which you have a share:
(2) Is not insurable if:
(v) The acreage is interplanted, unless insurance is allowed by the Crop Provisions;
The requestor interprets the definition of “interplanted” to apply to practices that inherently, regardless of weather conditions, prohibit the management or harvest of the insured crop. The requestor also interprets this definition to not pertain to or be applicable to weather caused delays to management of the insured crop or termination of the cover crop when the cover crop does not inherently prohibit separate management or harvest of the insured crop and weather is the sole cause of delayed cover crop termination. Further, the requestor interprets practices that have been defined as good farming practices by agronomic experts cannot be interpreted as “interplanted.”
Final Agency Determination
FCIC agrees, in part, with the requestor. To be interplanted, there must be two or more crops planted in such a manner that under their normal agronomic practices they cannot each be separately managed or harvested. If normal weather conditions and good farming practices would permit separate management or harvest of the two or more crops, such crops would not be considered as interplanted, even if weather conditions later interfered with the separate management or harvest of the crops. For example, if an insured crop is planted with another crop, and under normal weather and agronomic conditions, the two crops are managed separately and harvested separately, the fact that bad weather interferes with the separate management or harvest does not mean the crops are interplanted. The definition is clear that the question is whether the crops are planted in a manner that permits separate management or harvest.
However, while the existence of a cover crop may not meet the definition of “interplanted,” it can impact the insurability of the insured crop. For example, in some areas FCIC approved policies for the 2012 crop year do not insure crops following cover crops if the cover crop has not been terminated by a specific date, or in some areas by a specific stage of growth (e.g. before heading or budding stage). Additionally, some crop policies specifically prohibit insurance from attaching to any crop that was planted into an established grass or legume. While neither of these situations may be considered interplanted, both would impact the insurability of a subsequently planted crop.
FCIC does not agree with the requestor that practices that have been defined as good farming practices by agronomic experts cannot be interpreted as “interplanted.” Two crops may be produced using good farming practices but still be planted in such a manner that does not allow separate agronomic maintenance or harvest. In these situations, the crops are considered to be interplanted by definition. Additionally, the acreage would not meet the insurability requirements of section 9(a)(2)(v) of the Basic Provisions and the planted crops would not be insurable.
In accordance with 7 C.F.R. § 400.765(c), this Final Agency Determination is binding on all participants in the Federal crop insurance program for the crop years the policy provisions are in effect. Any appeal of this decision must be in accordance with 7 C.F.R. § 400.768(g).
Date of Issue: March 13, 2014