By Clint Thompson
The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) encourages producers to participate in the Pandemic Cover Crop Program, which is an insurance premium benefit for growers with cover crops. Farmers are eligible for coverage under most crop insurance policies for a premium benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture if they planted cover crops during this crop year.
“Georgia’s cotton producers are ahead of the curve compared to their neighbors in other parts of the country about cover cropping. This program kind of came out of nowhere,” GCC Executive Director Taylor Sills said. “But the way it works is a producer will go report their acreage that went into cover crops. They have to do it by Tuesday, June 15. Up to $5 an acre will come off their crop insurance payment, not to exceed the amount of the premium, obviously.
“Times have been hard the last couple of years. While this isn’t a payment back to a producer, it is one that will offset some of their costs and help that bottom line that we all know is very tight right now.”
All cover crops that are reportable to the Farm Service Agency are eligible. These include 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.
Producers must file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) for cover crops with USDA’s Farm Service Agency by June 15, 2021.