USDA Pronounces Second Yr of Insurance coverage Financial savings Program


This announcement is a banner second for regenerating soil well being on our nation’s farms, defending the financial vitality of rural America, and serving to American agriculture confront the rising local weather disaster.

Cowl crops are used to enhance soil well being. This farmer is utilizing a curler crimper to mow down the quilt crop so it could actually add natural matter and shield the soil.

USDA introduced a second yr of the Pandemic Cowl Crop Program, which presents farmers who plant cowl crops financial savings on their crop insurance coverage payments. Cowl crops are an necessary follow for constructing wholesome soil, bettering water high quality, and even assist mitigate and combat local weather change. Wholesome soil can also be a method for farmers to organize for the impacts of local weather change, because it retains extra moisture in instances of drought or flood. This system is like getting a superb driver low cost in your auto insurance coverage – a superb stewardship low cost for farmers.

This announcement got here on the wings of one other from USDA, a historic funding of $1 billion in a brand new program, the Partnership for Local weather Good Commodities. In January, USDA additionally launched the Farmers for Soil Well being Initiative, with a objective of accelerating cowl crops on corn and soybean acres to 30 million acres by 2030. These bulletins are a welcome sign of the Biden Administration’s intent to make good on guarantees to advertise climate-friendly agriculture. The crop insurance coverage incentive program might be welcome information for canopy croppers, who enrolled greater than 12 million acres within the first yr of this system, in keeping with USDA. Many farmers rely upon crop insurance coverage as a security internet or are even required by the financial institution or their landlord to have crop insurance coverage, so this system works nicely as an incentive as a result of it’s built-in with a program many already use.

Quite a few lawmakers deserve credit score for sounding the drumbeat upfront of this announcement, too; because the Home Agriculture Committee started a collection of hearings in January to organize for reauthorization of the Farm Invoice, which expires in 2023. The Pandemic Cowl Crop Program was a subject of curiosity for a number of members of Congress at these current hearings. On January twentieth, Congresswoman Axne requested Secretary Vilsack about this system in a listening to in regards to the rural economic system. Congressman Panetta requested Secretary Vilsack about company cooperation to implement this system within the February 2nd listening to for the Subcommittee on Conservation. In a February 8th affirmation listening to for Undersecretary Robert Bonnie, Congresswoman Bustos requested what number of acres had been enrolled in this system and if this system can be supplied for a second yr. These hearings and the USDA announcement set the stage for a redraft of the Farm Invoice, exhibiting broad curiosity from Congress and USDA within the transformational and restorative impacts of canopy crops.

The Pandemic Cowl Crop Program is modeled on state-based packages in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. NRDC strongly helps the state and federal packages and we labored side-by-side with different NGOs, USDA, and state authorities to champion their success. For future program success, it will likely be needed to supply this system on a long-term foundation, creating certainty for farmers that they will issue into their selections when deciding whether or not they can afford to purchase cowl crop seed. For the following Farm Invoice, Congress ought to broaden on this necessary progress, and authorize a long-term, nationwide financial savings program for farmers who use cowl crops and construct soil well being. The time is ripe.

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