Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encourages farmers and landowners who planted cover crops this fall to apply for the Crop Insurance Discount Program by Jan. 13, 2023. Eligible Iowa farmers and landowners can receive a $5 per acre discount on spring crop insurance premiums for cover crop acres located within Iowa.
“Iowa farmers are continuing to invest in and implement proven conservation practices, like cover crops, to enrich soil health and improve water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “This successful program was started in Iowa and has become a model for other states as it has been an effective incentive to get more cover crops planted.”
Farmers can sign up now for the cover crop insurance premium reduction program at apply.cleanwateriowa.org. To qualify, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cost share programs.
Cover crops help improve soil health, prevent soil erosion and lock in nutrients, especially during extreme weather events. Cover crops are a proven way to reduce the loss of nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil, which helps to improve water quality. Cover crops also offer weed control and livestock grazing benefits for farmers and landowners.
This is the sixth year the Crop Insurance Discount Program is being jointly administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). Interest in the program continues to grow with new farmers and fields joining each year. To date, approximately 1,800 farmers have enrolled nearly 1 million acres of cover crops in the program. Iowa’s program has also served as a model for other states, including Illinois and Indiana.
Some insurance policies may be excluded, like Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, or those covered through written agreements. Participants must follow all existing farming practices required by their policy and work with their insurance agents to maintain eligibility. Farmers should visit their local USDA service center to learn about additional programs and resources that support the implementation of conservation and water quality practices.