DES MOINES, Iowa – On Wednesday, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encouraged Iowa farmers to enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) new Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP). The PCCP, modeled off Iowa’s successful crop insurance discount program, offers a $5 per acre discount on spring crop insurance premiums for producers who planted cover crops in the fall of 2020. Farmers who applied for Iowa’s crop insurance discount program last winter are also eligible to apply for the PCCP.
“I encourage all farmers and landowners who planted cover crops last fall to take advantage of the crop insurance discount offered through the Pandemic Cover Crop Program. This is a great extension of the cover crop insurance discount program Iowa has offered for the past four years, and it was recently started in Illinois and Indiana. Cover crops are now seeded on more than two million acres in Iowa, delivering soil health and water quality benefits across the state,” Naig said in a released statement. “This program is also a great reminder that there are a variety of public and private cost share programs available that farmers and landowners can use to help get started planting cover crops this fall.”
To apply for the PCCP, eligible farmers and landowners must file a Report of Acreage Form with their local USDA Service Center by June 15, 2021. Farmers and interested readers can learn more about the PCCP at farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops.
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – USDA RMA Crop Insurance Discount Program
Farmers and landowners who plant fall cover crops can apply for the state’s crop insurance discount program administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and RMA. Applicants may be eligible for a $5 per acre discount on their spring crop insurance premiums. Sign-up will begin in the fall of 2021 at cleanwateriowa.org/cropinsurancediscount.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with RMA to offer this crop insurance discount program since the fall of 2017. To date, about 1,700 farmers have enrolled nearly 500,000 acres of cover crops in the program.
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Statewide Cost Share Program
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship also offers cost-share funding for in-field management practices, including planting cover crops, transitioning acres to no-till/strip-till soil management, or applying a nitrification inhibitor.
Farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre and experienced cover crop users can receive $15 per acre. Producers using no-till or strip-till for the first time are eligible for $10 per acre. First-time users may also apply for $3 per acre for applying fall fertilizer using a nitrapyrin-based nitrification inhibitor. Cost-share funding through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is limited to 160 acres per farmer or landowner. Farmers and landowners should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to sign up now.