Crop Insurance Rebates for Planting Cover Crops

​​​​​​​ CoverCropPhoto2.png​​Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need information from my federal acreage report (FSA-578)?

DATCP must provide information on eligible acres to the USDA-RMA in a form that is recognizable to their process. Collecting information consistent with their forms will streamline the process and make it easier to process the premium rebate timely and accurately.

Contact your local FSA office​ to complete or obtain a copy of the FSA-578 for your farm. 

Do I need to report cover crop acres to FSA?

DATCP strongly encourages producers to report cover crops to USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  If there is a discrepancy with the Common Land Unit information (CLU) in your application, it is more likely to be resolved in a timely manner if the acres were reported to FSA. 

What if my insurance company does not offer this program?

The USDA-RMA has agreements in place with individual Approved Insurance Providers (AIP) who have opted in to participate in this program. Any eligible applicant that utilizes the services of AIPs that have opted to offer this program will be considered eligible for the DATCP crop insurance rebate for planting cover crops program. Applicants that use AIPs that have not elected to participate, will not be eligible for this program. 

For 2024 the Approved Insurance Providers in Wisconsin are: ​

Hudson Insurance Company
Producers Agricultural Insurance Company
Rural Community Insurance Services
NAU Country
American Agricultural Insurance Company
American Agri-Business Insurance Company (AgriSompo North America)
Country Financial
Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co of IA
Great American
Church Mutual Insurance Company (Precision Risk Management)
ACE American Insurance Company (Rain and Hail)
Palomar Specialty Insurance Company (Advanced AgProtection LLC)

Source: USDA Risk Management Agency 

What if I sign-up but change my mind on what fields I seed to cover crops?

Applicants should be certain of which fields are seeded to cover crops before applying. The application should be submitted after seeding, but before sign-up closes, to prevent a change in fields enrolled. 

Can I utilize this producer premium reduction on acres cost-shared through other state and federal programs?

This program is designed to incentivize additional acres of cover crops beyond those supported by DATCP and/or USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

DATCP will verify applications and cross-reference with other state and federal programs to avoid overlapping acres. However, this program would allow acres in addition to cost-shared acres. For example, if a farmer has 160 acres enrolled in a state program and decides to install 320 acres of cover crops, the additional 160 acres will be eligible for the crop insurance rebate program. 

How will DATCP verify eligible acres?

DATCP will use a combination of tools to verify acres in cover crops applied for through this program. Applications will be reviewed for overlap in enrollment of other federal and state programs. DATCP will then employ a variety of tools at their discretion. Applicants may be asked to provide further documentation (e.g., seed bills, seeding method, and timing of planting) to confirm applied fields were seeded to cover crops. 

Can I graze or harvest forage from my cover crop?

Yes, this program and federal crop insurance programs allow for managed haying and grazing of cover crops if this management does not jeopardize the intended function of the cover crop and that termination guidelines developed by USDA-RMA and USDA-NRCS are followed.

Can cover crops in this program be harvested for grain?

No, the harvest of grain from cover crops is not the intended use of cover crops and would run contrary to federal crop insurance termination deadlines and insurable crop determinations.

When do I have to plant my cover crops to receive the rebate?

The premium rebate is applied in 2024 to cover crops planted in 2023 and subsequently planted to an insurable crop the following growing season. Applications for cover crops planted in 2023 will be available in December 2023.  

What if I don't utilize federally subsidized crop insurance?

This program is only for those with coverage through the federal crop insurance program and only eligible for those that are assessed a premium for the coverage. In instances where no premium liability is due or absent enrollment in the federal crop insurance program, the farmer/landowner would not be eligible for this program. There may be other state or federal programs available for these producers. 

What is the limit on acreage an individual farmer can apply for?

The crop insurance rebate for planting cover crops program will not impose caps on eligible acres (absent state/federal program acres) for individual applications. Currently, the only limits imposed would be the $5/acre incentive and the total funding available by DATCP for this program. 

How will applications be awarded?

DATCP will accept applications on a first come first serve basis pending verification of meeting program rules.  

If the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) offers a nationwide cover crop rebate program again, am I still eligible for the DATCP crop insurance rebate program?

If USDA-RMA offers a nationwide Pandemic Cover Crop Program (or similar) this year, the USDA-RMA program would be an additional rebate. Participation in both programs would not affect producer eligibility for the WI crop insurance rebate program.

Do I sign up for this program through the USDA-NRCS or USDA-FSA offices?

No, this program is set up independent from traditional state or federal programs administered through the USDA-NRCS or USDA-FSA offices. If you need assistance in applying for this program, please contact​