Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
A drought in the Dakotas and parts of Canada will limit cover crop seed availability this year. Brothers Josh and Micah Rensink farm and run Pivotal Farm Services – a cover crop seed and application business near Sioux Center, IA. Micah says, “We’ve done our own forecasting, and we expect that cover crop seed prices are going up.”

Supply limitations: “It goes back to supply and demand,” Micah explains, “We’ve got low supply because of the drought in the Dakotas and because fewer people kept their rye crop for seed due to high corn and soybean prices. We’re expecting increased demand as more and more people see how cover crops benefit soil.”

Act now: Micah advises, “Whether you’re a veteran cover cropper or new to it, talk to your supplier soon because prices are going up. Now is the time to get your price locked in.”
PROGRAM UPDATES
If you seeded cover crops in 2020, you are likely eligible to receive a $5/acre crop insurance premium discount through the Pandemic Cover Crop Program. The discount will be applied to the 2021 crop insurance premium. Farmers in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana who received the $5/acre cover crop - crop insurance premium discount are eligible for an additional $5/acre through the Pandemic Cover Crop Program.

To be eligible for the discount, you must certify all cover cropped acres seeded in 2020 with your local USDA-FSA office by June 15, 2021.
Ready to invest in cover crops on your farm?

You could earn $1,600 or more to help offset the cost– fill out the application to see if you’re eligible.
First-time cover croppers are eligible for $25 per acre, while farmers who have experience using cover crops and are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre. Reduced tillage and nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor cost share is also available.
 
Cost share funding through IDALS is capped at 160 acres per farmer or landowner. Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District office today to submit an application!
IN THE FIELD
We’ve created a directory of businesses to help you meet your cover crop goals. There, you can find seed suppliers, custom applicators, seed cleaners, and more.

If you sell cover crop seed or offer cover crop related services email jason@practicalfarmers.org to be listed on the directory.
Come harvest time, things can get hectic. Figuring out what your cover crop plan is in advance helps to ensure that seeding cover crops doesn’t fall off your radar.

This decision tree can help you figure out the details of seeding rate and date now so you don’t have to plan during harvest.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Hosted by: Jerry Hatfield & Montag Manufacturing
June 16 | 1:30 p.m. CT | Emmetsburg, IA

Hosted by: Soil Health Nexus
June 16 | 2 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Kyle Schnell and Indigo Ag
June 17 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT | Newton, IA

Hosted by: Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership
June 22 & 24, July 13 & 15 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Ben Dwire and Practical Farmers
June 22 | 2 – 2:45 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture
June 24 | 11:30 a.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Matthew Frana, Joel Zook and Center for Rural Affairs
June 24 | Noon – 1 p.m. CT | Online
Want to host a cover crop meet up? Contact Sarah if interested sarah@practicalfarmers.org
 
Are you planning or hosting a cover crop event? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.
COVER CROP POLL
Send us your cover crop poll ideas! We want to know what YOU want to know. Reply to this email with your ideas for the next poll.
Where are you sourcing cover crop seed this year?
A cover crop seed business
A neighbor
I grew my own
Online
Not sure yet
Previous poll results:
Did you see frost damage from the cooler temperatures on May 29?
  • No frost damage - 45%
  • Yes, frost damage was worse on my cover-cropped fields - 35%
  • Yes, frost damage was not as extensive on my cover-cropped fields - 20%
CONTACT OUR COVER CROPS TEAM
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661