SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced a fall cover crop discount program for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2019 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2020. The program will allow eligible applicants to receive a $5 per acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program. The program was developed by IDOA and backed by legislative leadership from Senators Andy Manar and Scott Bennet.
“Cover crops are an important part of preserving agriculture,” State Senator Scott Bennet said. “As Senate Agriculture chair, I am encouraged by this program and that it represents another resource to farmers to help ensure the success of Illinois’ agriculture economy.”
“Farmers who utilize cover crops are making an investment in the overall quality of our soil, food and water, as well as their own future yields,” said Senator Andy Manar. “This program will help expand the ecological benefits of cover crops while supporting our local farmers’ bottom line. Prioritizing these best practices is why Illinois remains at the forefront of agricultural production and quality.”
The discount program was designed to promote additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives. IDOA will use a combination of tools to verify acres applied for through this pilot program are planted in cover crops. The program is only applicable for those with coverage through the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA) crop insurance program. Confirmed applications will be forwarded to the USDA-RMA for processing and applying premium discounts to 2020 crop insurance invoices.
“Implementation of best management practices such as cover crop application continues to be a priority of the Department,” said John Sullivan, IDOA Director. “Adopters of cover cropping methods may have incurred additional risk and expenses and this program serves as an incentive for their work.”
Applications are available at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Pages/default.aspx. Funding of eligible acreage will be on a first come, first serve basis capped at 50,000 acres. It is recommended that those applying for the program reference their Federal FSA-578 form. The closing date to apply for the premium discount is January 15, 2020. Further information can be obtained by contacting the IDOA at (217) 782-6297.