Skip to main content

Prevent Plant

You may encounter a situation where you are unable to plant your Spring Crop due to excess moisture in the field.  While this is something that can be an insurable cause of loss.  It is also heavily regulated, and can become difficult to navigate.  The rule of thumb is that it is typically better to plant vs not plant, but when that is not possible here are some tips:

Late Plant vs. Prevent Plant

Each crop has a “Late Plant” deadline/timeline in the County Actuarials.  These dates will help you to determine if you are in a Prevent Plant situation, or simply a Late Plant situation.  Now, when you look at the County Actuarials the names of the dates can be very confusing:

  • Final Planting Date: this is simply the final date you can plant your crop and receive 100% of the coverage on your policy.  Note – you can plant after this date 🙂 
  • End of Late Planting Period: this is the last day* you can seed your crop, and receive some sort of coverage for it (*not always the case though – I have seen scenarios where people planted after this date and were able to get coverage, so ALWAYS check with your Crop Insurance Agent).

The basics of the planting period from the Final Planting Date through the End of Late Planting Period is that you lose 1% of your coverage every day after the Final Planting Date.  The premium, however, on those acres is the full amount aka timely seeded acres premium amount.  No reduction in premium.

Let us say that you have reached the End of Late Planting Period and you simply cannot get into the field to plant due to the excess moisture (just one example of an insurable cause of loss) you are now looking at a potential Prevent Plant situation.

Prevent Plant

Before we continue any further – because your agent has done their job – you have already submitted a Notice of Loss well before you hit the Prevent Plant date i.e. during the Late Plant Period.

RMA Definition:

Failure to plant the insured crop by the final planting date (or within the late planting period) due to an insured cause of loss that is general to the surrounding area and that prevents other producers from planting acreage with similar characteristics. 

Here are some of the qualifications you should be aware of before continuing:

  • Prevented Planting must be due to an insured cause of loss that is general to the area and prevents other producers with similar acreages from planting.
    • Failure to plant when surrounding producers are able to plant will result in the denial of the Prevented Plant claim.
  • Minimum of 20 acres or 20% of a Unit Structure in order to qualify
  • To be eligible for a prevented planting payment, acreage must have been planted to a crop, insured, and harvested (or adjusted for a claim) in at least one of the previous four crop years aka 1 in 4 rule. 

    • Example – new to crop insurance person (been farming, but not insuring); their acreage would not qualify as it was not insured in 1 of the previous 4 crop years.

    • Example – added acreage to your policy.  The acres you added – maybe took over a neighbor’s lease – and the acres did NOT have crop insurance on it in any of the previous for crop years – would not be eligible.
  • You must have eligible acres and ground must be available to plant.
    • Assuming you satisfied all of the above – this is the calculation you use to determine the quantity of “eligible acres”
      • Take the Crop in the County – look at the previous 4 crop years, and select the Acres seeded (in any one of those years) that is the highest.
      • Subtract any acres that you have already been able to seed this crop year from the Acres (highest in any one of the previous 4 years)
      • The balance is the total amount of “eligible” acres you have to claim under PP

Notes on Eligible Acres:

  • There is the ability to increase your eligible acres based on added land (in some cases), and via Crop Options (when available, but at Sales Closing time). 
  • There is also the ability to “roll” to the next available crop should you exceed your eligible acres in one crop, but have more acres available in another crop (this is limited to other factors, but is a possibility). 
  • If you are a client of mine, just reach out and I can give you your eligible acre numbers. 

Here are some of the records you will be required to provide:

  • You must provide verifiable records acceptable to the Crop Insurance Adjuster showing a cause of loss occurred in the insurance period.
  • You should keep sufficient records of all the inputs needed for the intended acreage.
  • Accurate records of planting, replanting, and harvesting of the grain are necessary
  • Acres must be reported by the applicable Acreage Reporting Date AND designated as “Prevent Plant”
    • This is all part of the process that your Crop Insurance Agent will/should help you with.

Once it is determined that you qualify for the Prevent Plant payment your Crop Insurance Adjuster and Crop Insurance Agent will walk you through the necessary steps to finalize your loss.  Please keep in mind that the above information is simply anecdotal, and you need to check with your Crop Insurance Agent to make sure your situation is applicable, and/or might have different requirements.

For a crop like Wheat:

  • Your prevented planting coverage (payment) will be 60% of your production guarantee for timely planted acreage.
  • Your premium, yes you have to pay the premium, will be the same as timely planted acreage.
  • The maximum number of acres eligible for a prevented planting claim is the maximum number of acres of the crop that have been planted in the county in any of the four most recent crop years.
  • If you have not planted any crop in the county for which prevented planting insurance was available in any of the four most recent crop years, you must indicate the acres of the crop that you intend to plant to the insurance provider by the sales closing date.
    • This is known as an Intended Acreage Report.

As always, if you have questions or concerns please reach out to your friendly neighborhood Crop Insurance Agent…or me 🙂


There are a lot of rules behind this program, so the above information is very high level.  You will want to take a deeper dive into understanding the program before making a purchasing decision.  Keep in mind the above information is for informational purposes only, and does not replace anything found in the Crop Insurance Handbook, Loss Adjustment Manual, RMA’s website, etc.  Always consult the Crop Insurance Handbook, Loss Adjustment Manual, RMA’s website, etc. before making a purchasing decision.  Any discrepancy between the above information and the policy is not intended.  The information provided in this article does not supersede policy and procedure.  Any changes to the policy and procedures may make this material obsolete.