Planting cover crop in Iowa this fall? You may be eligible for a $5 per acre premium reduction on crop insurance in 2018. The Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture has a new program aimed at increasing acres of cover crops in the state.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) worked with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), who oversees the federal crop insurance program, to establish a 3-year demonstration project aimed at expanding the usage of cover crops in Iowa.
IDALS has opened an online sign-up and application process for farmers and landowners to certify eligible land for the program.
“We see this new crop insurance premium reduction as a great way to reach a broader group of farmers and landowners in order to promote continued interest in planting cover crops,” Naig said. “This streamlined incentive coupled with traditional state and federal cost share programs provides farmers and landowners with a variety of options to gain experience with cover crops and expand their use. Cover crop seeding dates have recently been extended, so there is still an opportunity to seed more acres this fall.”
Crop insurance is an integral part of the farm safety net that helps farmers manage the risks associated with growing a crop and provides protection for farmers impacted by severe weather and challenging growing seasons. Cover crops can help prevent erosion and improve water quality and soil health, among other benefits.
“Crop insurance is critical to the health of the rural economy, and proper use of cover crops is critical to the health of the soil that farmers need,” said RMA Acting Administrator Heather Manzano.
Applications will be taken until January 15, 2018. Cover crop acres currently enrolled in state and/or federal programs are not eligible for this program.
Cover crop seeding dates have recently been extended. Farmers are encouraged to continue seeding winter hardy cover crops as harvest wraps up to provide protection from the elements this spring.