Take Action! Sign the Petition for Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program

Help Farmers steward the land: Support Appropriations for the Fall Cover Crop Rewards Program - Photo of young farmer Frank Rademacher of Rademacher Farms in Gifford IL

Lets cover 200,000 acres in cover crops!

For two years in a row, the excitement and demand for Fall Covers for Spring Savings cover crop reward program for Illinois farmers has exceeded the 50,000 acres available!

You can help show Illinois legislators that there is broad support to expand funding for the program to cover 200,000 acres with cover crops that protect our soil and drinking water.

With your support, we will deliver hundreds of signatures on a petition as lawmakers debate the budget for the FCSS program.

Central Illinois farmer Frank Rademacher added 400 acres of cover crops with help from the Fall Covers for Spring Savings.

Image of Frank Rademacher standing and smiling on the dividing line between his field of cover crops and his neighbors bare soil.

Frank farms with his father and grandfather on over 500 acres. Frank first heard about the program through a conservation group called Practical Farmers of Iowa, and this is his second year  successfully enrolling roughly 400 acres into the 2021 FCSS program. Part of the reason Frank uses cover crops is to prepare for the future. Frank thinks it’s clear there will always be a need for sustainability and regenerative production systems.

Expansion of the FCSS program is critical not only to the success of the program but also to accelerate adoption of cover crops on Illinois cropland.

Planting cover crops is one method to building that foundation of soil health and one of the most effective in-field strategies for reaching the goals in the IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.

For the past two years, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has offered the Fall Covers for Spring Savings program to provide a $5/acre discount on crop insurance premiums for farmers who plant those acres in cover crops between growing seasons. This program is easy to access and offers a simple incentive for farmers to plant and keep their land in cover crops. Unfortunately, it only has enough funding to support farmers on 50,000 acres.

Video Link to FCSS Program info created by American Farmland Trust

In the 2020 application period, farmers submitted over 185,000 acres to be funded through the program and we know that there are even more farmers out there that could use this support. That’s why we are asking the Illinois General Assembly to expand funding for the program to cover at least 200,000 acres in 2021.

Without increasing the amount of acres planted in cover crops, Illinois will struggle to meet its nutrient loss reduction goals. According to recent research, Illinois is already two centuries away from reaching goals.

Please show your support of the expansion of funding for the program by signing the petition!

Thank you for using your voice!