Deadline next week for crop insurance premium reduction for cover crops

DES MOINES ? The deadline to sign up for an innovative new program providing a per acre premium reduction on their crop insurance in 2018 for farmers who planted cover crops this past fall is Monday, Jan. 15.

Farmers and landowners can sign up online to certify eligible land for the program at Cover crop acres currently enrolled in state and/or federal programs are not eligible for this program.

?We have been encouraged by the interest in this new program and are encouraging eligible farmers to learn more and consider signing up. This incentive can be a great asset to farmers that are scaling up the number of acres they are using cover crops on beyond what might fit with other state and federal programs,? said Naig, of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The Department worked with the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), who oversees the federal crop insurance program, to establish the three-year demonstration project aimed at expanding the usage of cover crops in Iowa.

The new premium reduction will be available for fall-planted cover crops with a spring-planted cash crop. Some policies may be excluded, such as Whole-Farm Revenue Protection or those covered through written agreements. Participating farmers must follow all existing good farming practices required by their policy and work with their insurance agent to maintain eligibility.

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.