Act Fast! Illinois Cover Crop Application Opens at 8 A.M. Wednesday, Dec. 15 -- Acreage Sold Out in 12 Hours Last Year

Act Fast! Illinois Cover Crop Application Opens at 8 A.M. Wednesday, Dec. 15 — Acreage Sold Out in 12 Hours Last Year

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will open the third year of the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Applications will be available at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Pages/default.aspx. Funding of eligible acreage will be on a first come, first serve basis.

In agriculture, cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil rather than for the purpose of being harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem — an ecological system managed and shaped by humans.

Due to the program’s success, 100,000 acres are available for 2022, up from 50,000 the previous growing season.

In 2020, the 50,000-acreage allotment was met in 12 hours and a total of 185,000 acres were requested by the time the application period ended.

The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2021 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2022. Eligible applicants receive a premium discount of $5 per acre on the following year’s crop insurance for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.

Applicants will be required to certify that their cover crops are approved through their local Farm Service Agency office before applying. Applicants will also need their current FSA-578 and federal crop insurance policy number(s) for the 2022 application process.

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 that acres applied for through this 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 crop insurance program.

Confirmed applications will be forwarded to the USDA-RMA for processing and for application of premium discounts to 2022 crop insurance invoices.

Applications will be available until Jan. 15, 2022 on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website. Further information can be obtained by contacting the IDOA at 217-782-6297.

SOURCE: Illinois Department of Agriculture news release