Published: October 7, 2021

Category: Regenerative Agriculture

Farmers thinking of planting cover crops this fall can access cost-share funds from one of seven private cost-share programs in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska thanks to cost-share initiatives Practical Farmers of Iowa of Iowa has launched over the past seven years with supply chain partners.

The following grain merchandisers are participating: ADM/Unilever (Des Moines, Iowa) – soybeans; Cargill/PepsiCo (Eddyville, Iowa) – corn; ADM/PepsiCo (Clinton, Iowa) – corn; LifeLine Foods/ PepsiCo (Mound City, Missouri) – corn; Cargill/PepsiCo/Bayer (Blair, Nebraska) – corn; Bunge/PepsiCo (Crete, Nebraska) – corn; ADM/Keurig Dr. Pepper/Pepsico (Columbus, Nebraska) – corn.

Terms vary by program: Those new to cover crops can receive $40 per acre on up to 40 acres, while experienced cover crop farmers can receive $10 per acre on 160 acres (or 10% of acres farmed, whichever is larger).

“There are no deadlines to sign up,” said Sarah Carlson of Practical Farmers. “When the programs are full, that’s when we’ll close them. If farmers get motivated to plant cover crops after harvest, and we still have acres available, we’ll take them.”

Farmers are eligible to enroll in one of these private programs, even if separately enrolled in a public cost-share program. Cargill offers a separate opportunity for farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, or Arkansas through its Regenerative Ag Program.

Cover crops such as rye and oats help prevent erosion, improve soil quality, and lock in nutrients that could taint waterways—but cost and growing challenges exist.

“Helping farmers overcome these obstacles and lessen the risk is the reason why Practical Farmers of Iowa launched our first cost-share program in 2015,” Carlson said. “We know that farmers need financial as well as agronomic support to be successful with cover crops…we built both into these programs. This extra support is what makes PFI’s cost-share programs unique.”

Source: Practical Farmers of Iowa

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights October 2021