Department of Agriculture
Risk Management Agency Fact Sheet
Washington National Office — Washington,DC
Revised March 2022
Pandemic Cover Crop Program
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 crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2022 crop year. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed. Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa have existing programs for producers to receive a premium benefit for planting cover crops. In these states, participating producers will receive an additional benefit.
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.
- Eligible Insurance Policies
PCCP is available for most insurance policies, including Whole-Farm Revenue Protection beginning in 2022.
There are a few exceptions related to policies that already provide the benefit through underlying coverage. PCCP is not available for:
- Post-Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE)
- 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 March 15, 2022, at their local FSA county office. To file the report, you should contact your local USDA Service Center and make an appointment. For qualifying cover crops planted after March 15, producers now have through May 31, 2022 to report those cover crop acres.
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.
- More Information
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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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, complete, sign and mail a program discrimination complaint form, (available at any USDA office location or online at www.ascr.usda.gov), to: United States Department of Agriculture; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Ave., SW; Washington, DC 20250-9410. Or call toll free at (866) 632- 9992 (voice) to obtain additional information, the appropriate office or to request documents. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136.