USDA Update: A Pandemic Premium for Cover Crops

Producers who have crop insurance coverage may qualify for a premium benefit in a new USDA pandemic assistance program if they planted cover crops for the 2021 crop year.

The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday some cover crop acreage could be eligible for the Pandemic Cover Crop Program offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency. The program is designed to help farmers battling financial obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue cover crop systems.

Qualifying cover crops include cereals, grasses, legumes, brassicas, non-legume broadleaves, and mixes of two or more cover crop species planted at the same time. According to RMA, the program provides premium support to farmers who insured their spring crop and planted a qualifying cover crop for the time period. Premium support is $5 per acre but not more than the full premium owed.

Producers must report acreage to USDA’s Farm Service Agency by June 15 to qualify for PCCP and must match what was reported to their crop insurance company. 

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