WHITE COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT 1105 West Main Street Carmi, Illinois 62821 Contact: Jewel Brooks or Tenley Wessel 618-382-2213, Ext. 3
Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will open the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program at 8 a.m. on December 15th. Applicants will be required to certify their cover crops approved through their local FSA office before applying. Applicants will also need their current FSA-578 and federal crop insurance policy number(s) for the 2023 application process. The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2022 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2023.
Eligible applicants receive a $5 per acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program. Producers who previously used the program may apply again, and there are not any per applicant acreage caps. The discount program was designed to promote additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives (e.g. EQIP, CSP or State cost share). IDOA will use a combination of tools to verify acres applied for.
The program is only applicable for those with coverage through the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA- RMA) crop insurance program. Confirmed applications will be forwarded to the USDA-RMA for processing and applying premium discounts to 2023 crop insurance invoices. Plans for cover crop planting must follow NRCS and Illinois Cover Crop guidelines. The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy recognizes cover crops as one of the most effective in-field management strategies to stem the loss of both nitrate-nitrogen and total phosphorus from corn-soybean fields, in addition to positive effects on carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reductions.
The program is a first come, first serve format making timely application a priority. Funding for an additional 40,000 acres has been secured, expanding the program to a statewide 140,000 acres limit. Applications will be available on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website at 8 a.m. December 15. Cover crops will need to have been reported to FSA and shown on form FSA-578, and the producer’s federal crop insurance policy number will need to be provided. Further information can be obtained by contacting the IDOA at (217) 782-6297 or the White County SWCD at (618) 382-2213, Ext. 3. SWCD staff, Jewel Brooks or Tenley Wessel, will be available to assist with the application process if requested.