Cover photo for Pandemic Cover Crop Program

Pandemic Cover Crop Program

Farm Service Agency

Closed Indefinitely

Our sources indicate that this program is closed indefinitely and unlikely to reopen.

Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from USDA if they planted cover crops during this crop year. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), reduces producers’ overall premium bills and helps them maintain their cover crop systems.

Cultivating cover crops requires a sustained, long-term investment, and the economic challenges of the pandemic make it financially challenging for many producers to maintain cover crop systems. PCCP helps ensure producers can continue this important conservation practice

PCCP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers who are feeling the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.


PCCP is available for most insurance policies, including Whole Farm Revenue Protection beginning in 2022.

There are a few exceptions related to policies that already provide the benefit through underlying coverage.

PCCP is not available for: 

  • 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 underlying policy)

  • Margin Protection (MP) (if an underling policy)

Qualifying cover crops include all that are reportable to FSA, 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 of qualifying cover crops is available in FSA Handbook 2-CP.


PCCP provides premium support to producers who insured their crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2022 crop year. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed.

Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa have existing programs for producers to receive a premium benefit for planting cover crops. Producers who participate in one of these programs can receive an additional benefit through PCCP.

Also, PCCP does not change acreage reporting dates, reporting requirements, or any other terms of the crop insurance policy.

Application Instructions

Producers automatically receive the benefit if they filed the Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) by March 15, 2022 with their local FSA office.

For qualifying cover crops that are planted after March 15, producers now have through May 31, 2022 to report those cover crop acres. To file the report, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center (above) to make an appointment.

As part of filing the Report of Acreage, producers need to provide:

  • cover crop type or variety;

  • number of acres of the cover crop;

  • map with approximate boundaries for the cover crop;

  • planting dates;

  • planting pattern, when applicable;

  • producer shares; and

  • irrigation practices.

The March 15, 2022 reporting date is distinct from the normal acreage reporting date. The normal acreage reporting deadline with FSA will not change, but to receive the premium benefit, producers must file by March 15.


Release Date

February 1, 2022


May 31, 2022

Financial Instrument


Updated March 27, 2024

Image Credit: Kseniia Rastvorova

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.

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