Irrigated wheat acreage does not have to meet the percent headed requirement and can be appraised and released at any point prior to the end of the planting period for whichever second crop the grower wants to plant.

Destruction of irrigated wheat acreage can also be accomplished by haying the wheat in advance of planting the second crop if the wheat crop is certified for grain, without affecting the insurance appraisal or harming eligibility for other USDA disaster assistance programs such as the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).

Regardless of which route a grower takes, the acreage would then be released for another use, allowing the grower to destroy the wheat crop in preparation for planting a second insured crop on the acreage.

Once the wheat acreage is appraised and dealt with, the USDA Risk Management Agency’s “First crop/Second crop” rules will apply to that acreage.

In the event of a loss, a grower has the option to plant a second insured crop on the acreage, but only if he elects to receive only 35 percent of the first crop (wheat) indemnity amount. For growers exercising this option the second crop would be 100 percent insurable.

Under the “First crop/Second crop” provisions, an insurable loss on the second crop would be paid at 100 percent. The grower would then owe just 35 percent of the insurance premium due on the initial wheat crop for which they received the reduced indemnity payment. If there were no loss on the second crop the grower would receive the unpaid portion (65 percent) of the initial loss on the first crop and pay the full insurance premium on both insured crops.

For future reference, the easiest way to switch out of winter wheat and into a spring-seeded crop is prior to March 15, when the wheat acreage can be “short-rated.” By short-rating wheat acreage, the grower cancels the insurance policy in exchange for payment of only 40 percent of the wheat insurance premium owed.

At that time irrigated wheat acreage would be free to be planted to a second crop without limitations on its ability to be insured. Non-irrigated wheat acreage “short-rated” would still have to have had any grazing activity halted before March 15 and growers would have to ensure that none of the wheat previously planted reached the headed stage of development.


A spring crop planted on wheat acreage that is short-rated is considered the second crop planted on the acreage for insurance purposes and application of the “First crop/Second crop” coverage rule.