By Eric Bashore, Billings Regional Office director, USDA - Risk Management Agency
Did you plant a cover crop and also have federal crop insurance coverage for your spring crops this year? If so, you may be eligible for a premium benefit through the new Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP). To receive this benefit, you must file a Report of Acreage (FSA-578) by June 15.
We recognize cover crops require a sustained, long-term investment, and the economic challenges of the pandemic made it financially challenging for many producers to maintain cover crop systems. PCCP is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s financial assistance to help producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.
This program helps ensure producers, including those here in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, can continue this important conservation practice.
How It Works
PCCP provides premium support to producers who insured their spring crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2021 crop year, which generally includes cover crops planted in late summer to fall of 2020. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed.
Qualifying cover crops include all that are reportable to the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including cereals and other grasses, legumes, brassicas and other non-legume broadleaves, and mixtures of two or more cover crop species planted at the same time.
How to Receive Benefit
You will automatically receive the benefit if you file the Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) by June 15, 2021, with your local FSA office. To file the report, you should contact your local USDA Service Center and make an appointment.
This June 15, 2021, reporting date is distinct from the normal acreage reporting date. The normal acreage reporting deadline with FSA has not changed, but to receive this premium benefit, you must file by June 15.
If you want to learn more, feel free to contact Risk Management Agency’s regional office in Billings, Montana at (406) 657-6447. Or you can visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops, where we have the Report of Acreage form that you need for FSA as well as some frequently asked questions.
The USDA Risk Management Agency in Billings, Montana, administers federal crop insurance in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.