New USDA program to help farmers maintain cover crops through pandemic

Producers who planted cover crops this crop year and have crop insurance are eligible for a $5 per acre premium discount through USDA’s new Pandemic Cover Crops Program.

The program, which is part of the agency’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative, is designed to help farmers maintain their cover cropping systems despite setbacks from the pandemic.  

Producers must file a report of acreage form for cover crops through the Farm Service Agency by June 15, 2021 to receive the premium, which is different from the normal acreage reporting date.

All cover crops reportable to FSA are eligible, but certain crop insurance policies that overlap benefits are not. Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa have similar programs at the state level and producers in those states are eligible to receive this additional benefit.

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