IDOA cover crops discount application now available

Applications for the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program became available online yesterday. Funding of eligible acreage will be on a first come, first serve basis according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA).

This year, applicants will be required to certify that their cover crops are approved through their local Farm Service Agency office before applying. Applicants will also need their current FSA-578 and federal crop insurance policy number(s) for the 2021 application process which can be downloaded here. Applications will be available until January 15, 2021.

Ag and crop news The goal of the program is to encourage farmers to plant additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives. It allows eligible farm operations to receive a premium discount of $5 per acre on the following year's crop insurance for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program. The program is only applicable for those with coverage through the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA) crop insurance program.

"Cover crops are a great way to keep soil anchored, salvage nitrogen, capture carbon and create weed suppression," said Jerry Costello II, IDOA Acting Director in September. "In the long run, cover crops will help Illinois farmers reduce the need for fertilizer and reach the goals of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy."

The discount program debut last year to promote additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives. The IDOA will to verify that acres applied for through this program are planted in cover crops.

Confirmed applications will be forwarded to the USDA-RMA for processing and for application of premium discounts to 2021 crop insurance invoices.

For more information interested parties can contact IDOA at (217) 782-6297.