soybean field and cover crop strip
SUSTAINABLE SOY: PFI seeks to enroll farmers who sell soybeans to ADM via its Des Moines plant to participate in a cover crop cost-share program through Unilever’s Sustainable Soy program.

Soybean growers eligible for cover crop cost share

Program participants can receive $10 per acre on up to 10% of their total farmed acres.

Practical Farmers of Iowa is inviting farmers who sell soybeans to the Archer Daniels Midland supply chain via its Des Moines plant to participate in a cover crop cost-share program through Unilever’s Sustainable Soy program.

PFI is a partner in the program, which provides cost-share funds for planting cover crops and gives participants access to a robust cover crop support system through PFI’s network. Farmers can reserve their place in the Sustainable Soy program by signing up for a free non-binding, one-hour phone consultation with a cover crop expert at PFI.

Get access to a robust cover crop support system
During the call, an agronomist at Practical Farmers will discuss how prospective participants can get started with cover crops, or if they already have some cover crop experience, how they can move into a more advanced cover cropping system.

Choosing to have the consultation does not oblige farmers to participate, but those who decide to enroll will have fulfilled their enrollment requirement. Slots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for farmers who then commit to plant cover crops in thr fall. To sign up for a consultation, visit pficovercrops.youcanbook.me.

Public cost-share funds
Sustainable Soy cost-share participants are eligible to receive $10 per acre on up to 10% of their total farmed acres. Participants also receive help securing other public cost-share funds from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The cover crop staff at PFI will work through this process to secure the maximum cost-share dollars possible for each farmer in the program.

Any cover crop acres planted beyond those receiving cost-share support through these sources would be eligible for a crop insurance discount of $5 per acre on those cover-cropped acres, offered only in the state of Iowa.

Participants also receive a complimentary PFI membership, which provides access to a broad and active group of experienced cover crop farmers in Iowa and surrounding states, as well as numerous opportunities to learn about cover crops through field days, workshops and other events.

Multiple ways to participate
Farmers who do not want to plant cover crops can still participate in the Sustainable Soy program by exploring other practices that could improve soil health, such as reducing tillage and improving fertilizer management.

While there is no cost share or other funding support available for those practices, farmers who wish to go this route still receive complimentary PFI membership and can avail themselves of PFI’s network.

Unilever, the parent company of Hellman’s mayonnaise, initiated the Sustainable Soy program in 2015 in partnership with ADM, Iowa Soybean Association, United Soybean Board, World Wildlife Fund and Practical Farmers of Iowa to lessen the environmental footprint of its supply chain and fulfill its corporate commitment to sustainability.

The company has made cover crop money available to farmers who grow soybeans that ADM uses to make soyoil for Hellman’s mayonnaise.

For information on the program, contact Richard Lane at 515-232-5661 or [email protected].

Source: Practical Farmers of Iowa

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