While the Sodsaver provision in the Senate bill does not, as we had proposed, deny all crop insurance subsidies on newly broken out land, it does provide for a 50 percent reduction in the subsidy. It also includes two important provisions that prevent people from gaming the system to increase their revenue insurance coverage at the expense of taxpayers and the environment. One keeps the newly broken out land isolated from other crop acres the producer may have when calculating insurable yields. The other requires the operator to take a percentage of the county average yield until being able to show a multi-year yield history.They go on to note a similar provision in the 2008 act was neutered. I assume enforcing this would require the insurance agents to access FSA data.
I wonder how the GIS system handles history--can you go back through historical land use layers? This sort of issue, breaking out "noncropland" for annual crops has been a perennial issue in ag programs. One question I'm not sure ever got answered is: does cropland ever become noncropland, when "noncropland" the land hasn't yet been devoted to "nonagricultural uses".
I remember one of the Great Plains state specialists assuring me that the county office would know the different between land which had once been cropped and land which had never been cropped. I was dubious then and am more dubious today.