Pre-enrollment for Fall Covers for Spring Savings program now open

The Fall Covers for Spring Savings program from the Illinois Department of Agriculture returns for another year.

Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello says the program has been crucial to the state’s nutrient loss reduction efforts.  “About 5 years ago it took us about 12 days to fill 50,000 acres,” he says. “Last year we had 160,000 acres, it took bout 5 to 6 hours to fill.”

The program was designed to promote additional acres of cover crops that aren’t already covered by state or federal incentives. “Cover crops are so, so important when it comes to making sure we’re not losing nutrients in the soil,” he says. “And runoff going into creeks, rivers, that eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico.”

A total of 140,000 acres are available for the 2024 program.  Eligible applicants receive a premium discount up to $5 per acre on the following year’s crop insurance, depending on the policy, for every cover crop acre enrolled and verified in the program.

For the first time, growers can pre-enroll for the program.  Users can enter their information into Cover Crop Premium Discount Application and validate it during the pre-enrollment period which opened on December 4th.  Applications can be submitted once the program opens on December 15, 2023.  The due date for applications is January 15, 2024.  

AUDIO: Illinois Director of Agriculture, Jerry Costello

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