Farmers who planted fall cover crops are now eligible for a discount on their crop insurance premium, thanks to a new USDA program announced June 1. However, they must act before June 15 to qualify.
Kate Hansen, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs, explains more saying “That program is called the pandemic cover crop program, and basically if a farmer planted cover crops in the fall of last year, so 2020, then they are eligible for a $5 per acre discount on their crop insurance, this year, so for their spring 2021 crops. And it’s administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, which is the agency that administers federal crop insurance.”
Cover crops include cereal grains, grasses, legumes and mixes with two or more species. The FSA requires producers to fill out an acreage report form (FSA-578) which includes the cover crops and number of acres.
The most important thing to know is farmers must report their cover crops by June 15 to the FSA.
“Report your cover crops to FSA by June 15 That’s what’s going to make you eligible for this program, and you probably can ask your local FSA staff some questions as well and they’d be able to help you out. I want to emphasize this is June 15 but not July 15, because there is a July 15 deadline in the crop insurance process that a lot of farmers are really familiar with, and this is actually a month in advance, it’s coming up pretty quickly on us.”
Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office with any questions.