Pandemic Cover Crop Program

Overview

Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from USDA if they planted cover crops during this crop year. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), reduces producers’ overall premium bills and helps them maintain their cover crop systems.

Cultivating cover crops requires 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 helps ensure producers can continue this important conservation practice.

PCCP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.

Benefit Availability

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. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed.

Qualifying cover crops include all that are reportable to 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. A full list is available in FSA Handbook 2-CP.

PCCP does not change acreage reporting dates, reporting requirements, or any other terms of the crop insurance policy.

Cover Crop Field
Eligible Insurance Policies

PCCP is available for most insurance policies.

There are a few exceptions related to policies that already provide the benefit through underling coverage or that are not compatible with acreage reporting. PCCP is not available for:

  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)
  • Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO)
  • Hurricane Insurance Protection – Wind Index (HIP-WI)
  • Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)
  • Stacked Income Protection (STAX) (if an endorsement)
  • Margin Protection (MP) (if an endorsement)
How it Works

Producers will automatically receive the benefit by filing the Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) by June 15, 2021, at their local FSA county office. To file the report, you should contact your local USDA Service Center and make an appointment.

As part of filing the Report of Acreage, you will need to provide:

  • cover crop type or variety;
  • number of acres of the cover crop;
  • map with approximate boundaries for the cover crop;
  • planting dates;
  • planting pattern, when applicable;
  • producer shares; and
  • irrigation practices. 

The cover crop fields that are reported on the Report of Acreage form must match what is reported to the insurance company for crop insurance policies.

Clover Field
More Information
Visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops for more information, including frequently asked questions or to download the Report of Acreage form. Find contact information for your local USDA Service Center at farmers.gov/service-locator.

  National Office

  • 1400 Independence Ave. SW
    USDA/RMA/Stop 0801, Room 6092-South
    Washington, DC 20250
  • Email: FPAC.BC.Press@usda.gov

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This fact sheet gives only a general overview of the crop insurance program and is not a complete policy. For further information and an evaluation of your risk management needs, contact a crop insurance agent.
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