DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will once again offer its crop insurance rebate program coverage this year.
The program gives farmers and landowners who plant fall cover crops, such as rye and oats, the option to claim a $ 5 per acre rebate on their spring crop insurance premiums. Registration for the program will begin in December.
âPlanting cover crops is a great way for farmers to leverage existing conservation efforts in their farming operations,â Naig said. âEvery field is different, so I encourage farmers and landowners to speak to their agronomist, conservation professional or seed representative to determine which cover crop varieties are best suited for their growing conditions. Hopefully everyone will consider planting cover crops in at least one field this fall.
Farmers and homeowners can start enrolling in the Cover Crop Insurance Discount Program in December. To be eligible, cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other USDA or USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service cost-sharing programs. More information on the Cover Crop Insurance Rebate Program is available at cleanwateriowa.org/cropinsurancediscount.
Cover crops help improve soil health, prevent soil erosion, and retain nutrients, especially during extreme weather events. Cover crops have been shown to reduce nitrogen loads by 28-31% and phosphorus loads by 29%, which helps improve water quality. They also provide weed control and livestock grazing benefits to producers.
This is the fifth year that the Crop Insurance Rebate Program has been administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the USDA Risk Management Agency.
To date, approximately 1,700 farmers have registered nearly 700,000 acres of cover crops in the program. Other states have also started offering similar programs modeled on Iowa, including Illinois and Indiana.
Some insurance policies may be excluded, such as whole farm income protection, or those covered by written agreements. Participants must follow all existing farming practices required by their policy and work with their insurance agencies to maintain eligibility.