Cover Crop Savings Program
The Illinois Department of Ag (IDOA) Cover Crop Premium Discount Program gives farmers a $5/acre insurance premium discount on acres that are planted with a cover crop.
Applications open December 15th and close January 15th. Space is limited and fills quickly so be sure to gather all needed documents and apply close to December 15th.
The program is offered for acres of cover crops installed outside of state and federal program incentives. Farmers interested can sign up for acres that are planted to cover crops in the fall of 2020 and will be planted to an insurable crop in 2021. They should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
Cover crops can improve the resiliency of Illinois farms by improving the soil’s ability to absorb and hold water for crops. Additionally, they prevent erosion. More resilient soils have less yield variation from year to year.
Introducing cover crops into the crop rotation takes purposeful management. Often, many farmers start with cereal rye after corn harvest, before soybean planting.
The Midwest Cover Crop Council is a group dedicated to the adoption of cover crops and serves as a resource on all thing cover crops including, selection, seeding rates, planting dates and more.
This program is part of a larger conservation effort within the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. This strategy acknowledges cover crops as one of the most effective management strategies to prevent the loss of nutrients from corn and soybean fields. However, less than four percent of Illinois’ crop fields have cover crops annually.
In addition to directly benefiting farmers by keeping nutrients on their field, cover crops keep sediment out of waterways and remove carbon dioxide from the air.
Only 50,000 acres are available through this program and all were spoken for in 2019. Make sure to have proper documentation ready to go by December 15th.