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USDA expands its Post-Application Coverage Endorsement insurance option

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it has expanded its Post-Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) insurance option for corn farmers who “split-apply” nitrogen to include most counties in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, where non-irrigated corn is insurable. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) rolled out PACE earlier this year to support stewardship of fertilizer, and it will continue to be offered in select counties of Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota.

 To “split-apply” nitrogen, growers make multiple fertilizer applications during the growing season, rather than providing all the crop’s nitrogen requirements with a single treatment before or during planting. This practice can lead to lower input costs, and helps prevent runoff and leaching of nutrients into waterways and groundwater.

“We are always striving to offer risk management options and opportunities that are in the best interest of the producers and their operations, and that also support and encourage environmental and climate-smart practices,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “The expansion of PACE reflects our confidence in the product and producers’ interest. Today’s announcement nearly doubles the geographic area where it is now available to corn farmers.”

About PACE

PACE provides payments for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post nitrogen application during the V3 through V10 corn growth stages (from plant with three visible collared leaves to five weeks after plant emerges) due to field conditions created by weather.

For crop year 2022, PACE will be available in select counties in 11 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  

PACE is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP), and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE) policies. The next sales closing date to purchase insurance is March 15, 2023.

More Information

This crop insurance option builds upon RMA’s efforts to encourage use of conservation practices, including cover crops. For example, RMA has provided over $100 million in premium support for producers who planted cover crops on over 20 million net acres through the Pandemic Cover Crop Program during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Additionally, RMA recently updated a policy to allow producers with crop insurance to hay, graze, or chop cover crops at any time, and still receive 100% of the prevented planting payment. This policy change supports use of cover crops, which can improve soil health.

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

Industry response

“We believe in this crop insurance product and are glad that the Risk Management Agency is expanding access to PACE for the next crop year,” says Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington.

“American agriculture has many tools at its disposal, but the Federal Crop Insurance Program is one of the most powerful,” says Deborah Atwood, Meridian Institute Senior Fellow and Executive Director of AGree. “The program allows producers to manage risk while continuing to feed Americans. USDA’s Risk Management Agency and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board are leading us into a new era of climate-smart agriculture, grounded in data and science that will continue to make the sector resilient well into the future. In its first year, PACE proved to be a valuable tool for corn farmers across the Midwest. We are excited to see how this expansion will help more farmers adapt to changing conditions, reap the benefits of split-nitrogen application, and improve water quality.” 

PACE was developed by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company, LLC, Meridian Institute, and others.

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