Cover crops are becoming a more common conservation practice thanks to benefits such as increased soil health, improved water quality, and economic returns.
Iowa farmers who have been implementing cover crops will be eligible for crop insurance discounts again this year.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) will once again offer a $5 per acre discount on spring crop insurance premiums for producers already growing fall cover crops. Producers can sign up for the program starting Dec. 1.
This is the sixth year this program will be offered in the state of Iowa. To date, 1,800 farmers have enrolled nearly one million acres of Iowa farmland in the program.
“The benefits of cover crops are very evident here in Iowa,” said Kelsey Willardson, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs. “The program is helping producers adopt and continue cover crop use, and improving agricultural soils in the process.”
According to USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, most farming operations see economic profits from cover crops within one to three years through increased yields and decreased production costs. The increased financial health of local farms supports the continuation of this incentive program.
The discount cannot be applied to acres enrolled in other other state or USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs.