Farmers can Save Money with State Cover Crop Discounts
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is reminding farmers and landowners to apply for cover crop insurance discounts by January 14th. Eligible applicants can receive a discount of $5 per acre on their spring crop insurance.
“Farmers and landowners across the state are recognizing the benefits of planting fall cover crops to improve the health of their fields and water quality in their communities and downstream,” said Secretary Naig. “I encourage everyone who planted fall cover crops to take advantage of this opportunity to save some money on spring crop insurance premiums.”
This is the fifth year the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA Risk Management Agency has offered the program. So far, over 1,700 farmers have taken advantage of the program enrolling more than 700,000 acres of cover crops in the program.
Why use cover crops?
Cover crops are used by farmers to help improve their soil’s health. Beyond the farm, cover crops reduce nutrient pollution from fields to local waterways. While there is extensive promotion around using cover crops to improve water quality in Iowa, according to Iowa State University Extension, cover crops were only used on 4 percent of cropland in the state.
By keeping year-round cover, farmers can cycle nutrients and add organic matter to their soil. Cover crops have also led to increased soil water-holding capabilities. Farmers can even utilize the crop as forage for their livestock.
For more information on the crop insurance discount program, visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Stewardship website.