What is PCCP?
The Pandemnic Cover Crop Program (PCCP) is a new form of assistance for producers who grow cover crops, recently announced by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) as part of their continued efforts to reward sustainable and conservation-minded farming practices.
The financial uncertainties caused by the COViD-19 pandemic has made it difficult for some farmers to continue to maintain their cover crop systems. To counteract this, PCCP will provide premium assistance to crop insurance policyholders who planted an eligible cover crop in the 2022 crop year.
How does PCCP Work?
The amount of premium support granted to producers growing cover crops is $5 per acre. This benefit will be applied directly to the policyholder's premium payment, and the benefit received cannot be more than the total premium owed. Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa each have their own state-wide cover crop incentive programs; producers in these states will receive an additional benefit from the federal Pandemic Coverage Crop Program.
Eligible policyholders will be granted the PCCP benefit automatically if they submit a Report of Acreage (FSA-578) form to their local FSA office before March 15, 2022. To find your local FSA service center, please click here.
Who is Eligible for PCCP?
PCCP is available for most crop insurance policies, including Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP). However, PCCP is not available for producers with certain types of coverage, including:
- Post-Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE)
- Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO)
- Hurricane Insurance Protection - Wind Index (HIP-WI)
- Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)
- Stacked Income Protection (STAX), if an endorsement
- Margin Protection (MP), if an endorsement
All cover crops that are reportable to the FSA qualify for PCCP, including 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. A full list is available in FSA Handbook 2-CP.
Why Cover Crops?
The RMA is committed to programs which incentivise environmentally-friendly farming practices, such as the Post-Application Coverage Endorsement. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program is the latest part of this ongoing effort.
Regularly planting cover crops is a vital part of sustainable farming. The presence of cover crops aids in nutrient and topsoil retention, reduces erosion, improves water absorption, and more.