Photo courtesy Texas A & M Agrilife

Farmers encouraged to file Acreage Report by June 15 to receive premium benefit for Cover Crops

Officials with the USDA’s regional office in Oklahoma City are reminding area farmers  of a benefit through a new pandemic-related program.

“Did you plant a cover crop and also have 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,” Jim Bellmon , Regional Office Director for USDA’s Risk Management Agency in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma shared.

To receive this benefit, farmers must file a cover crop Report of Acreage (FSA-578) by June 15, 2021.

“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,” Bellmon added. “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.”

USDA officials say this program helps ensure producers, including those in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, can continue this important conservation practice.

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.

Officials say that farmers will automatically receive the benefit if they file the cover crop Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) by June 15, 2021, with the local FSA office.

To file the report, officials say farmers should contact their 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 the premium benefit, you must file by June 15,” officials added.

For more information or questions, farmers can contact the Risk Management Agency’s regional office in Oklahoma City at 405-879-2700 or they can go online, where the Report of Acreage form, as well as some frequently asked questions.