We are working with Minnesota stakeholders to explore and design a crop insurance demonstration program to increase adoption of practices that improve soil health.
Farmers use crop insurance to manage risk and prevent catastrophic financial losses from weather and market events that cause revenue losses. Farmers receive support for the vast majority of policies, managed by the United States Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, crop insurance policies and the farm financial system do not have a way to account for soil health practices when considering insurance risk.
This program will provide incentives for specific soil health practices delivered through the crop insurance program, with funding provided by non-federal sources. Through this work, the farm financial system will gain a better understanding of how on-field soil-health practices can mitigate crop insurance risk. Encouraging the adoption of farming practices that improve soil health will result in farm fields and crops that are more resilient in the face of extreme weather events—leading to fewer insurance claims and more financially stable farms.
The Cover Crop Insurance Incentive Project is undertaken in partnership with NRDC and support from The Walton Family Foundation.
Steering Committee Members
Erin Meier, Green Lands Blue Waters
George Boody, Land Stewardship Project
Steven Pahs, MASWCD/Rice Soil and Water Conservation District
Scott Henderson, MAWD/Sauk River Watershed District
Annie Felix-Gerth, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Brad Redlin, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Michelle Medina, Minnesota Farmers Union
Joe Smentek, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association
Theresa Keaveny, Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota