Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced last week that the sign-up period for the Crop Insurance Discount Program will begin on Friday, December 1, and will close on Friday, January 26, 2024.
To sign-up to participate, visit Apply.CleanWaterIowa.org.
Offered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the program provides farmers and landowners who plant fall cover crops the opportunity to apply for a $5 per acre discount on their spring crop insurance premiums.
“Cover crop utilization in Iowa continues to rise because of innovative incentives like the Crop Insurance Discount Program. Iowa is a leader in conservation innovation and this successful program, which was first developed and launched in Iowa, has become a model in other states and at the national level,” said Secretary Naig. “This incentive can help defray some of the cover crop seeding costs on more acres, so we invite farmers and landowners to get their eligible acres signed up before January 26. As cover crops offer water quality and soil health improvements, valuable forage for livestock and many more agronomic benefits, we want to significantly increase the number of Iowa cover crop acres in the years ahead.”
Now in its seventh year, the Crop Insurance Discount Program has enrolled nearly 2,000 farmers who have seeded more than 1 million acres of cover crops to date. To qualify for the program, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs.
The Crop Insurance Discount Program is jointly administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). Iowa’s program has served as a model and has been replicated by the USDA as well as Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. To qualify for the Crop Insurance Discount Program, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cost share programs. Farmers should visit their local USDA Service Center to learn about other cost share funding available to support the implementation of conservation practices. Some insurance policies, such as Whole-Farm Revenue Protection or those covered through written agreements, may be excluded. Participants must follow all existing farming practices required by their respective policy and work with their insurance agencies to maintain eligibility.