LYONS, Neb. — Cover crops are a conservation practice with wide ranging benefits, from improving soil health to protecting water quality. Many farmers who planted fall cover crops are now eligible for a discount on their crop insurance premium, thanks to a new program announced June 1.
The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, offers a discount of $5 per acre on a farmer’s 2021 crop insurance premium, but no more than the full premium price.
To be eligible, a producer must report their fall cover crops to the Farm Service Agency no later than June 15. The Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) will require information such as cover crop variety, number of acres, planting dates, and irrigation practices. Once the report has been submitted, eligible farmers will be automatically enrolled and see the discount reflected on their premium later in the year.
“Farmers should be mindful that the June 15 deadline is a month before the July 15 acreage reporting deadline they are familiar with for federal crop insurance,” said Kate Hansen, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs.
The program is available nationwide for most federal crop insurance policies. For producers in states with existing cover crop insurance incentives, such as Iowa, PCCP will provide an additional benefit. The discount is not available for policies such as Whole Farm Revenue Protection or Enhanced Coverage Option.
“This opportunity is a win-win for both farmers and for our natural resources,” Hansen said. “It’s great to see farmers who planted cover crops last fall rewarded for their voluntary efforts.”
For more information on the program, visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops.
— Center for Rural Affairs
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