Crop Insurance Discounts Available for Farmers Who Plant Cover Crops
Participating farmers qualify for a $5 per acre discount on crop insurance
DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 30, 2019) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that farmers who plant cover crops this fall may be eligible for a $5 per acre reduction on their spring 2020 cash crop insurance premiums. To qualify, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cover crop cost share programs. Farmers who received prevent plant payments in 2019 are still eligible for the discounted insurance premiums.
“All Iowans have a role to play in improving water quality in our state and downstream,” said Secretary Naig. “Cover crops are proven to reduce nutrient loads and improve soil health. As part of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, our goal is to have at least 14 million acres of cover crops planted in the state of Iowa. This program represents just one of many funding sources available to help farmers add conservation practices to their fields.”
Planting rye or oat cover crops helps improve the health of the soil and prevents erosion, especially during high-intensity rainfalls. Cover crops are also proven to reduce nitrogen loads by 28-31 percent and phosphorous loads by 29 percent, which helps improve water quality.
This is a joint, three-year demonstration project administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). It is intended to increase the use of cover crops in Iowa. More than 1,200 farmers have applied for this program and planted 300,000 acres of cover crops in the past two years.
Farmers can sign up for the cover crop – crop insurance premium reduction program at apply.cleanwateriowa.org beginning on Oct. 1, 2019. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2020.
Some insurance policies may be excluded, like Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, or those covered through written agreements. Participants must follow all existing farming practices required by their policy and work with their insurance agency to maintain eligibility.
Farmers are encouraged to visit their local USDA service center offices to learn more about other cost share funding available to support the implementation of conservation practices.