NSAC's Blog


New Pandemic Cover Crop Program is a First Step

June 9, 2021

Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), which will offer a $5 per acre premium discount to producers who planted qualifying cover crops during the 2021 crop year and enrolled in eligible federal crop insurance policies. The PCCP is administered by the Risk Management Agency […]

$15 Million Available for Conservation Innovation Grants

May 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced the availability of $15 million for the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. This is in addition to the $25 million announced in March for on-farm trials. This funding announcement is the traditional CIG option that has been offered in the past and is referred to as […]

USDA Updates Options for Cover Crop Termination

July 17, 2019

Cover crops are a critical tool that farmers can use to improve soil health, reduce erosion, retain moisture, and suppress weeds. Especially as farmers are up against devastating floods, drought, and unpredictable weather and pressures, cover crop adoption is an essential practice to build resilient systems and mitigate risk. Despite these clear benefits for risk […]

Difficult Planting and Cover Crop Decisions Compounded by Policy Uncertainty

June 27, 2019

Heavy, consistent rain and flooding so far this year have significantly obstructed planting for farmers in the Midwest and throughout the country. For farmers who cannot plant, there are a variety of options (including planting cover crops), but in some cases the details remain murky – complicating farmers’ planting decisions. This blog briefly discusses those […]

Iowa Cover Crop Initiative Offers “Good Farmer Discount” on Crop Insurance

December 5, 2017

Editor’s Note: This blog is a guest post written by Ann Y. Robinson, Agriculture Policy Director for the Iowa Environmental Council, an NSAC member organization. Cover crops are catching on in Iowa. Over the last decade, farmers in the state have significantly increased the acreage of cover crops; as of 2016 an estimated ​6​00,000 acres […]

Farmer Input Needed for 2017 National Cover Crop Survey

April 20, 2017

Calling all farmers! Whether you’ve been a longtime cover crop user, considered cover crops but haven’t yet made the leap, or have never even heard of cover crops, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program needs your input for their National Cover Crop Survey. For the fifth year in a row, the United State’s Department […]

Unified Support for Conservation as Good Farming Practice Needed at USDA

December 16, 2016

Every farmer with crop insurance knows they need to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Good Farming Practices (GFP) standard in order to maintain their coverage. Under guidelines established by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), farmers must undertake all the “generally recognized practices” that will give their crops the best chance to reach […]

Cover Crop Survey Reflects Enthusiasm for the Soil Saving Practice

August 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program recently released the results of its 2015 – 2016 Cover Crop Survey, which assessed the benefits, challenges, and growth of cover crops, as well as demand for cover crop seed across the United States. For the fourth year in a row, the SARE survey […]

SARE Cover Crop Survey Seeks Farmers Input

March 31, 2016

The Sustainable Agricultural, Research, and Education Program (SARE) in conjunction with the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) are seeking responses to their fourth annual national cover crop survey. Whether you are a long-time cover cropper, new to the use of cover crops, or never even considered the practice, SARE needs to hear from you. Results […]

Conservation Stewardship Stories: Leon Sowers

March 23, 2016

This is the final piece in a four-part series chronicling stories from farmers and ranchers who have experienced success with the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The first three stories featured Alabama ranchers Miguel Otero and Cornelius Joe, as well as Stan Armstrong from Indiana. Conservation Stewardship Stories: Leon Sowers Leon Sowers always keeps an eye on the weather, and in […]