Iowa farmers have several cost-share options to help them offset the costs of planting cover crops this fall.
Working through Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and grain processors, several food and beverage companies are offering various cost share incentives. Some offer $40 per acre on up to 40 acres for farmers who are new to cover crops. Farmers who have planted cover crops in the past qualify for $10 per acre on 160 acres, or 10% of farmed acres, whichever is larger.
In other programs farmers can earn $10 per acre for up to 200 acres.
In addition, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is again offering a crop insurance discount program for farmers who plant cover crops.
Applicants can apply for a $5 per acre discount on the insurance premiums on their cash crop for the 2022 crop year. Sign-up for the 2022 crop insurance discount program will begin in December.
Cover crops, such as rye and oats, offer a wide range of benefits to farmers and to the environment, said Sarah Carlson, PFI’s strategic initiatives director.
Food and beverage companies, such as Unilever and PepsiCo, are offering cash incentives to encourage farmers to plant cover crops for both water quality improvement and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Carlson said.
“We are seeing more and more food and beverage companies showing interest in these programs,” Carlson said. “With big retailers such as Walmart setting up sustainability plans, we’ll likely to see more interest,” she said.
For information on cost-share incentives offered through PFI, go to practicalfarmers.org.
For information on the IDALS the crop insurance discount program, go to apply.cleanwateriowa.org.