A program to reward farmers who plant cover crops in the Upper White River Region is in the works in Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency are collaborating to provide reduced crop insurance premiums to participating farmers.
The ISDA says the program is similar to programs already in place in Illinois and Iowa. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says the program is designed to promote more acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state and federal incentives.
“Our natural resources are some of Indiana’s most valuable assets and we must strive to protect them. This funding will allow our upper white region farmers the opportunity to increase cover crop usage, increase the filtration of water and put farm income toward another need on their operation.”
Farmers who plant the extra cover crops will receive a five dollar per acre crop insurance premium in the three-year program. Farmers in the qualifying counties of Henry, Delaware, Madison, Hamilton, Tipton and Randolph are currently eligible.
“The Nature Conservancy and ISDA, in partnership with the other Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance member agencies, commodity organizations and Purdue University, has established proactive conservation goals for Indiana, including 40% of Indiana cropland utilizing winter cover crops by 2025,” said Larry Clemens, state director for The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter.
Funding for the program is being supplied by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Applications are due March 1, and can be found here.