WASHINGTON, D.C. — USDA wrapped up an unexpected gift for some farmers on Tuesday by announcing a premium benefit to producers of crop insurance policies who planted cover crops this year.

The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), helps farmers maintain their cover crop systems as part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.

PCCP provides premium support of $5 per acre to producers who insured their spring crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2021 crop year.

Since Illinois, Indiana and Iowa have existing programs for producers to receive a premium benefit for planting cover crops, participating producers in those states will receive an additional benefit.

All cover crops reportable to FSA are eligible, but to receive the benefit, producers must file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) for cover crops with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) by June 15, 2021, and the cover crop fields reported on the form must match what the producer reported to their insurance company for crop insurance policies.

To file the form, producers must contact and make an appointment with their local USDA Service Center.

PCCP is not available for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, Enhanced Coverage Option, or Hurricane Insurance Protection; though Stacked Income Protection (STAX) and Margin Protection (MP) policies are eligible only when insured as a standalone policy.

(SOURCE: All Ag News)