Farmers in nearly two-thirds of Iowa’s counties will be eligible for a new crop insurance endorsement that offers coverage for split applications of nitrogen. 

Final details and enrollment dates for the new Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) on federal crop insurance were announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). 

It is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP) and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE) policies. The first sales closing date to purchase insurance is March 15.

The endorsement is available in 56 of Iowa’s 99 counties. It isn’t available in portions of northwest and southern Iowa. 

“We are proud to offer this new insurance option that encourages the use of conservation practices that benefit not just the environment, but also producers’ balance sheets,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “America’s ag­­ricultural communities are on the frontlines crafting solutions to address climate change and improve the environment. Across USDA, we’re adapting our programs to meet the needs of producers as well as the challenges they face.”  

To split-apply nitrogen, growers make multiple fertilizer ap­­plications during the growing season rather than providing all the crop’s nitrogen requirements with a single application before or during planting. The practice can lead to lower input costs and helps prevent runoff and leaching of nutrients into waterways and groundwater, the USDA said.

PACE provides payments for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post-planting nitrogen application during the V3-V10 corn growth stages due to field conditions created by weather. 

Iowa counties eligible for the PACE endorsement include Allamakee, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock and Hardin.

Also, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Kossuth, Linn, Marshall, Mitchell, Monona, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Story, Tama, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Worth and Wright.

In addition to Iowa, PACE is of­­fered in select counties of 10 other states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.