Cover Crop Program Application Period Ends, Sees Increase of Requested Acres
Many farmers want to implement conservation practices, but they need opportunities to help manage risk. The Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program addresses that need by providing $5 per acre on the following year’s crop insurance for every cover crop acre.
The second year of the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program ended with 768 applications requesting to plant nearly 185,000 acres of cover crops. Signup for the program opened December 15, 2020 and saw the acreage limit met within its first 24-hours.
“We were expecting great interest after a successful first year, but to meet our 50,000-acre allotment so quickly was astonishing,” said Jerry Costello II, IDOA Acting Director. “It shows there’s a great interest out there for cover crops and IDOA is committed to promoting conservation farming in Illinois.”
Interest in the program grew from the previous year. In 2019, over 500 applications requesting 133,000 acres were received.
Qualified applicants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
All Fall Cover for Spring Savings acres that were applied for are still being certified with the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA) crop insurance program. The certification process is currently underway, and applicants will receive an email in the next 30 days to notify them of whether they be will receive a premium discount.
The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2020 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2021. Cover crop acres must be enrolled and verified in the program.
Our hope at ICGA is to see funding from the State grow to match the impressive demand for the program to see wider implementation and adoption of cover crops across all regions of Illinois.