Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will open the second year of the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program December 15th with a few new requirements. This year applicants will be required to certify their cover crops approved through their local FSA office before applying. Applicants will also need their current FSA-578 and federal crop insurance policy number(s) for the 2021 application process.
The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2020 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2021. Eligible applicants receive a $5 per acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.
The discount program was designed to promote additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives. IDOA will use a combination of tools to verify acres applied for through this pilot program are planted in cover crops. The program is only applicable for those with coverage through the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA) crop insurance program. Confirmed applications will be forwarded to the USDA-RMA for processing and applying premium discounts to 2021 crop insurance invoices.
The inaugural season of the premium discount program, initiated by State Sen. Scott Bennett and Sen. Andy Manar, resulted in an additional 50,000 acres of cover crops planted in the State with 70% of applicants identified as planting cover crops for the first time. Farmers are encouraged to take this program into consideration when making fall planting decisions.
Applications will be available in December on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website. Further information can be obtained by contacting the IDOA at (217) 782-6297.