The Agriculture Department will allow double cropping to be insured in hundreds of additional counties this winter in an effort to address shortages of wheat and other commodities caused by the war in Ukraine.

For soybeans, double crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 681 counties. Some additional counties were permanently approved for double cropping, but farmers in the majority of counties will benefit because of a streamlined process for applying for personalized coverage or through not being required to provide production records.

The goal is to get farmers to seed winter wheat this fall and then follow that with soybeans next spring.

Based on a map provided by the Risk Management Agency, the changes would benefit counties from Michigan and Ohio to the Dakotas, much of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and a portion of the Texas panhandle.

For grain sorghum, double crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 870 counties.

Brad Doyle, president of the American Soybean Association, said the USDA action "provides farmers greater access to crop insurance, an important risk management tool. We are pleased USDA is moving forward with next steps to expand availability for the 2023 crop year after receiving input directly from farmers and throughout our soy states.”

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President Joe Biden used a visit to an Illinois farm in May to announce plans to expand double cropping coverage.

“We live in a challenging time, but I put my trust in the American farmer and U.S. agriculture to help keep the food we need affordable and available,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "The Biden administration and USDA will continue to find ways to ease burdens on American farmers and lower costs for American families such as expanded double crop options through crop insurance.” 

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