Pandemic Cover Crop Program offers crop insurance discounts – Deadline June 15

The USDA Risk Management Agency’s Pandemic Cover Crop Program offers a discount of $5 per acre on a farmer’s 2021 crop insurance premium.

A fall planted cereal rye cover crop in corn.
A fall planted cereal rye cover crop in corn.

Cover crops are a conservation practice with wide ranging benefits including erosion protection, improving soil health, resiliency and protecting water quality. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program, 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.

Thanks to a new program announced June 1, 2021, many farmers who planted fall cover crops are now eligible for a discount on their crop insurance premium. Producers must report their fall cover crops to the Farm Service Agency no later than June 15, 2021, to be eligible. The Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) is required, including information such as number of acres, cover crop variety, planting dates and irrigation practices. Eligible farmers will be automatically enrolled once the report has been submitted and see the discount reflected on their premium later in the year.

Farmers should note that the June 15 deadline is a month before the July 15 acreage reporting deadline normally used for federal crop insurance.

The Pandemic Cover Crop Program is available nationwide for most federal crop insurance policies. The discount is not available for policies such as Whole Farm Revenue Protection or Enhanced Coverage Option.

For more information on the program, visit the Pandemic Cover Crop Program website.

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