05092019CW1352CHAMPAIGN – Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is inviting area farmers to apply to the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s “Fall Covers for Spring Savings” cover crop program to receive a discounted crop insurance rate in spring 2021.

“I’m thrilled to see this program return after seeing a lot of success in its inaugural season,” Bennett said. “This program serves as an important tool to help farmers as they increase cover crop acres beyond what might be eligible for other state and federal programs.”

Bennett worked closely with the Department of Agriculture last year to develop the program, which allows eligible applicants to 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.

The goal of the program is to encourage farmers to plant additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives.

“Cover crops are a great way to keep soil anchored, salvage nitrogen, capture carbon and create weed suppression,” said Jerry Costello II, Acting Director of Agriculture. “In the long run, cover crops will help Illinois farmers reduce the need for fertilizer and reach the goals of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.”

Any farmer with coverage through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency crop insurance program is eligible to apply.

Applications will be available in December on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website. For questions or additional information, contact the department at (217) 782-6297.

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