Ames, Iowa — The deadline is next Tuesday for Iowa farmers who planted cover crops last year — things like cereals, grasses, and legumes — to get some money back through a new federal program that has Iowa roots. Sarah Carlson, strategic initiatives director for Practical Farmers of Iowa, says the USDA announced the Pandemic Cover Crop Program on June 1st, offering a premium of five dollars per acre.
While five dollars per acre may not sound like a lot, Carlson says for some farmers, it could mean the difference between losing money and making money.
The Pandemic Cover Crop Program is modeled on a state-level program that’s been online in Iowa for several years, one which the Practical Farmers of Iowa helped launch.
If there’s strong interest in the program from farmers across the country, Carlson says it’s hoped the same program will be rolled out again this coming fall.