cover crop 090120PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging 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.

“This is a very exciting program that can benefit soil health and protect water quality on and around our farms,” Joyce said. “I strongly encourage local farmers to take this program into consideration when making their fall planting decisions.”

The program 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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