Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encourages farmers and landowners who planted cover crops this fall to apply for the state’s cover crop insurance discount program by Jan. 14, 2022. Eligible farmers and landowners can receive a $5 per acre discount on their spring crop insurance premiums. Farmers can sign up now for the cover crop insurance premium reduction program at apply.cleanwateriowa.org. To qualify, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cost share programs.
“Farmers and landowners are investing in conservation practices, like cover crops, to enrich soil health and water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “The cover crop insurance discount program is an effective way to get even more cover crops planted across the state. I encourage more Iowa farmers and landowners to incorporate cover crops into their operations and take advantage of this program next fall.”
Cover crops help improve soil health, prevent soil erosion and lock in nutrients, especially during extreme weather events. Cover crops are proven to reduce nitrogen loads by 28-31 percent and phosphorous loads by 29 percent, which helps improve water quality. They also offer weed control and livestock grazing benefits for producers.
This is the fifth year the crop insurance discount program is being administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). Interest in the program continues to grow and new farmers and fields join each year. To date, about 1,700 farmers have enrolled nearly 700,000 acres of cover crops in the program. Other states have started offering similar programs modeled after the one in Iowa, including Illinois and Indiana.
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 agencies to maintain eligibility.
Farmers should visit their local USDA service center to learn about other cost share funding available to support the implementation of conservation practices.Source : iowaagriculture.gov