Delmarva Producers Should Double Check Double Cropping Coverage

Don Clifton, Farmers First Services,

As crop insurance deadlines for spring-planted crops near, make sure you have the right coverage package for your operation.

Double cropping is a common practice on Delmarva. Planting soybeans or vegetables after a small grain crop, or more than one vegetable annually on the same acreage, is routine for many area farmers. Producers need to be aware of special considerations when obtaining crop insurance for these crops.

Many Delmarva producers and agents have expressed frustration with the Double Cropping / Multiple Cropping provisions within current policy and procedure. Too often farmers find out about the full extent of certain coverage limitations only after a loss has occurred and the loss adjustment process has commenced. This has happened in cases of prevented planting claims as well as loss claims after harvest.

It is imperative that producers fully understand their options and responsibilities before making a final decision about their crop insurance package by the sales closing date. Depending on producer double cropping history or cropping history on the subject farm, it may be wise to change your coverage on either the first crop or subsequent crops. It is important to know your risk and any limitations to covering that risk. Ask your agent about your double cropping coverage NOW!

The applicable Crop Insurance Handbook language (par. 1223) reads, “1st insured crop limitations may apply to acreage planted to a 1st insured crop which has suffered an insurable loss. This excludes acreage that qualifies for double cropping. See the Loss Adjustment Manual for more information on double cropping.”

The issue of acreage qualification for double cropping is too important to ignore.

No producer can be expected to research the reference materials crop insurance professionals rely upon before making their crop insurance decisions. Crop insurance agents are prepared to answer your questions on a host of issues. Good communication with your agent is imperative. The agent needs to know which issues apply to your operation, which questions to answer.

In addition, information about these and any other crop insurance and/or revenue protection issues can be obtained by sending questions to or calling (302) 242-8806. We can help you know which questions to ask your agent.

If double cropping coverage limitations lead you to opt out of coverage for one or more crops, you may be able to obtain Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) as umbrella risk protection for your farm income. Once again, the time to inquire about WFRP is NOW!

Who Should Consider Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)?

Producers who derive income from:

  • Otherwise Non-insurable crops
  • A mix of insurable and non-insurable crops
  • Crops and livestock
  • Direct marketing
  • Growers of some greenhouse and nursery crops

In other words, just about every ag producer on Delmarva!

In addition, producers for whom crop insurance policy provisions have limited coverage for individual crops may want to consider supplementing their risk protection with WFRP.

WFRP is an umbrella (whole farm) policy covering a wide array of farm production, both insurable commodities and those for which insurance is not currently available or limited.

Talk to your crop insurance agent today to see how you might benefit from WFRP.

USDA and Cooperative Extension – a partnership to help you make the best-informed risk management decisions for your family. Only a licensed agent can sell you crop insurance, you can get current Information about these and any other crop insurance and/or revenue protection issues by sending questions to or calling (302) 242-8806.  We can help you know which questions to ask a crop insurance agent.

Insecticide Trial Results for Vegetable and Agronomic Crops

David Owens, Extension Entomologist, and Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management;

Summaries of last season’s insecticide trials in peas, sweet corn, watermelon, field corn, soybean, and wheat can be viewed at

Entomology Updates

The 2019 Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Recommendations guide is now available! A couple of corrections have come to my attention that you should be aware of. The first is that Vydate L is incorrectly listed in the Potato chapter. The correct formulation is Vydate CLV; Vydate L was introduced in 2018 and does not have potato on its label. It has a much lower % active ingredient than Vydate CLV. If accidentally applying Vydate CLV with the Vydate L use rate, you will apply more than a 2x rate of active ingredient! As always, pay attention to formulations and labels on products!

Several lambda-cyhalothrin containing products in the Sweet Corn chapter have an incorrect PHI listed. The PHI for Warrior, Besiege, and Lambda-Cy is 1 d PHI; the product Cobalt Advanced is a 21 d PHI as listed in the guide.

I’ve also shared the Handy Bt trait table for field corn with you before, you can find a link to it here: At some of the recent winter meetings, I have mentioned a couple of soil insect pest sampling techniques. There’s a great 50 second video for baiting wireworms by Purdue that can be found here:

For those of you wanting to know more about spotted lanternfly, the NE IPM Center will have a series of webinars focused for the hops, berry, and vegetable grower, the grape and tree fruit grower, Christmas tree growers, and the ornamental industry. See the announcement in this WCU for more information.

Results from 2018 Vegetable Variety Trials Available Online

Emmalea Ernest, Associate Scientist – Vegetable Crops;

The Extension Vegetable and Fruit Program conducted several variety trials in 2018. Crops that we evaluated for yield and quality characteristics were: seedless watermelon, mini seedless watermelon, baby lima beans, peas, beets and snap beans. Reports on these trials are now available online at:

The Return of Red Legged Winter Mites

Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist, University of

This past April I wrote an article about red legged winter mites, Penthaleus dorsalis, being found in a high tunnel on the eastern shore. I thought this was an odd, one-time thing. I have come to learn that the mites are unfortunately back in the grower’s heated high tunnel and more surprisingly have found that the same mites are causing all kinds of problems in high tunnels along the New England coast. This mite species is far more common than I had guessed and anyone now growing winter greens, crucifers, spinach and maybe leaf lettuces in high tunnels should be on the look out for this mite. Once it gets established in your high tunnel it is very difficult to manage.


Reflect on Insect Challenges in 2018

David Owens, Extension Entomologist, and Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management;

Now that harvest season is starting (for corn), in sight (for soybeans) or we look like we might have some time to catch our breath after another hopefully fruitful season, it is a good time to reflect back on insect challenges or issues that came up in 2018. Were they worse or better than 2017? Did you have to deal with anything unusual? Were you pleased with the control strategy you used when you had to make an application? Did an insecticide go out that, looking back, might not have been necessary? Are there problems for which we don’t have good tools available? Reflection like this can help craft next year’s strategy. I would love to hear from you as you look back on the season and reflect. It may help you craft next year’s strategy, and it helps us understand what you dealt with and how we can target our 2019 insect game plan accordingly to help answer questions. Thank you and good luck bringing the rest of the crop in!

2018 Seasonal Rainfall and Temperature

Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist,

We have enough days in September to get a good average to finish out the season. The graphs below have rainfall (precipitation) as bar graphs, with the typical average in blue and this year’s rainfall in green. Average temperatures are yellow lines and this year’s temperatures are in red.

Newark had a drier June than normal, but most other months have 1-2 inches more rain than normal. Average temperatures in 2018 were warmer in May and throughout September, but were otherwise normal.

Dover had similar summer temperatures to Newark, but received higher than average rainfall every month between May-September. If you went to DEOS ( after most storms this summer, it was apparent that many storms seemed to move across the center of the state.

Georgetown was saturated in May, with 10.23 inches of rain compared to the normal of 4 inches. Through the summer, rainfall steadily fell until going far below normal in August with only 2 inches. Temperatures were not so kind in the southern half of the state, with both May and late summer having higher averages. Hopefully farmers in Sussex County kept the irrigation going in August. The rains have returned in September, delaying some of the corn harvest.

Good Pumpkins

Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist, University of Maryland;

In my very unofficial survey of pumpkin quality at box stores, grocery stores, road-side markets or anywhere else they sell pumpkins I have been impressed with the overall quality of this year’s crop (Fig. 1). The size may be a little smaller than average but the pumpkins themselves have few defects and the handles for the most part are green and firm. In the past pumpkins could often be found with fruit defects and withered brown handles. The places I have been appear to be selling the orange fruit at a decent pace which is remarkable considering the un-Fall-like weather we have had so far with the heat and humidity. Overall the quality is a testament to our area growers who did a good job protecting their crop from the many diseases that were very active this wet summer.

Figure 1. Quality pumpkins for sale at the market

Cabbage Maggots are Out and About

Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist, University of Maryland;

The unceasing wet weather we have had this summer has made some fall planted cole crop fields vulnerable to cabbage maggots, Delia radicum (CM). The flies that are attacking cole and radish fields now are most probably 4th generation CM. We usually see some damage from this late generation of flies in our area, but it is usually scattered around. This year it is much more pervasive throughout the area. This widespread damage is due to how wet it has been, which has a dramatic cooling effect on the soil, CM larvae are better able to survive in the wet, cooler soils vs the drier hotter soils that we normally have in the summer and early fall. Adult flies are most active from 10 am to 2 pm and are inactive at night, in strong winds and when temperatures are below 50°F or above 80°F. Female cabbage maggot flies seek out and lay eggs on the lower portions of stems of young host seedlings or in nearby cracks in the soil. Within a few days the eggs hatch and the tiny maggots burrow down to the roots or bulb (radish and turnip) and begin feeding. The maggots usually feed for 2 to 3 weeks before pupating in the soil. Most of these pupae will overwinter in the soil, so it is important to be sure to rotate any cole crops out of the fall planted area for spring planting. A Diazinon, Lorsban or Verimark soil application pre- or at-planting will help reduce CM problems. Using row-cover over the newly planted seed would also control CM. Once damage is found in radish or turnip bulbs there is no rescue treatment.

Figure 1. Turnip with feeding damage