SPRINGFIELD — The second year of the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s (IDOA) Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program ended with 768 applications requesting over 185,000 acres submitted to IDOA.

The discount program opened the application period at 12:01a.m. Dec. 15 and saw the acreage limit met within its first 24 hours.

In 2019, over 500 applications requesting over 133,000 acres were received. Consistent with last year’s program, qualified applicants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

“We were expecting great interest after a successful first year, but to meet our 50,000-acre allotment so quickly was astonishing,” said Jerry Costello II, IDOA acting director. “It shows there’s a great interest out there for cover crops and IDOA is committed to promoting conservation farming in Illinois.”

All Fall Cover for Spring Savings acres that were applied for are still being certified with the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA) crop insurance program. The certification process is currently underway and applicants will receive an email in the next 30 days to notify them of whether they be will receive a premium discount.

The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2020 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2021. Recipients of the premium discount program receive $5 per acre on the following year’s crop insurance for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.

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