Crop insurance discount available for fall-planted cover crops

Farm and Food

Update: the deadline to apply for this program has been extended to January 27, 2021. For more information, click here.

Cover crops are a conservation practice used by many Iowa farmers, with benefits ranging from improving soil health to protecting water quality. 

Farmers who planted cover crops this fall without financial assistance from state or federal cost-share programs may be eligible for a $5/acre discount on their 2021 crop insurance premium. The program is administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA).

Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15 and the process is entirely online. Interested producers should go to to apply. 

To be eligible, a farmer’s cover crops must not be harvested for grain, must be terminated according to RMA guidelines, and be followed by an insured crop. IDALS will determine eligibility, verify acres and cover crops, and relay that information to RMA. If enrollment is approved, the farmer will see the discount reflected on their 2021 crop insurance premium. 

At this time, there is no cap on acres that may be enrolled, and most crop insurance policies are eligible, except Whole Farm Revenue Protection and written agreements. 

Iowa is a national leader in cover crop use and is one of the first states to offer such an incentive. Now in its fourth year, the program has enrolled nearly 17,000 farmers. 

Click here for a copy of our “Guide to Cover Crop Cost-Share in Iowa” outlining programs available to Iowa farmers. 

Feature photo by Kayla Bergman