Prevented or Delayed Planting

Did heavy rainfall, flooding, or other weather events prevent or delay planting on your farm? USDA is here to help farmers navigate challenges when it comes to prevented planting. USDA offers:

  • Prevented planting coverage through USDA-administered crop insurance policies;
  • Technical and financial assistance in planting cover crops, a practice common on lands unable to be planted to an insured crop.

Prevented Planting Coverage

Most farmers are familiar with prevented planting as part of their crop insurance coverage. Prevented planting is the failure to plant an insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planting date. Prevented planting coverage is available for most crops and and covers insurable causes of loss such as floods, hurricanes, or excess precipitation that occurs during the insurance period and prevents other producers from planting, too.

If you are prevented from planting your acreage, you are required to provide a notice of loss to your insurance agent within 72 hours after the final planting date if you do not intend or are unable to plant.

Learn more about prevented planting coverage.

Cover Crops

Cover crops help farmers to manage soil erosion, weeds, and pests and to improve soil health. Farmers often plant cover crops during the off-season after harvesting cash crops. They also can be planted on fields where farmers were prevented from planting a cash crop. 

Many fields that are saturated for a long time face a loss of soil organisms. Cover crop roots re-establish soil health and create pathways for air and water to move through the soil. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers plant cover crops, a popular conservation practice among farmers across the U.S. 

Download our "Cover Crops and Prevented Planting" fact sheet to learn more.

Special Assistance in 2019

Excessive moisture and flooding in 2019 have prevented or delayed planting on many farms across most of the country. Many producers are unable to plant crops by a final planting date or have experienced significant delays in planting.

As of July 15, 2019, USDA has paid roughly $286 million in claims for prevented planting because of floods and excess moisture.

USDA knows producers are facing tough times and is working to assist producers with making decisions. A few options include: