Published Nov 4, 2022

Cost-share slots still open for farmers who have seeded cover crops or plan to this fall – deadline is Dec. 1 to enroll in PFI program

By Tamsyn Jones


Tamsyn Jones | Senior Editor & Magazine Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

AMES, Iowa (Nov. 4, 2022) — With harvest winding down, farmers who are thinking of planting cover crops – as well as those who have already seeded covers for the coming winter – still have a chance to apply for cost-share and technical assistance through Practical Farmers of Iowa’s cover crop cost-share program.

The program is open to farmers in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska, as well as those in parts of Kansas, Minnesota and South Dakota. Farmers are eligible regardless of whether they have already seeded covers for the year. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1.

Full details and an application form are available at

Cost-share terms: Those enrolled in the program can receive $10 per acre on up to 200 acres or 10% of farmed acres (whichever is larger), and $5 per acre on everything above that.

There are no requirements on the species or seeding method used – and no limit on the number of acres farmers can enroll. Both existing cover crop acres or those seeded with cover crops for the first time are eligible to enroll.

“Our goal is to make sure each farmer can seed cover crops in the way that works best for their operation,” says Lydia English, PFI’s field crops viability manager. “We’re funded by food and beverage companies investing in their supply chain, and this allows us to be flexible in our practice requirements.”

Unilever, the parent company of Hellman’s mayonnaise, has been a foundational partner in PFI’s cost-share programs since their inception in 2015.

“We recognize that to make our supply chain resilient, we need to ensure that the farmers growing our ingredients are resilient as well,” says Stefani Millie Grant, senior manager of external affairs and sustainability at Unilever. “That’s why we’re investing directly to help them plant cover crops.”

Farmers can stack the cost-share with other publicly funded programs, but cannot dually enroll acres in another private cost-share program like a carbon market.

Technical assistance and support: Practical Farmers also provides technical assistance to anyone new to cover crops and hosts a number of events throughout the year to support farmers learning from other farmers about how to make cover crops work for them.

“The cost-share program is about as easy as anything I’ve been associated with,” says Kevin Prevo, who raises corn, soybeans and hogs with his brothers and dad near Bloomfield, Iowa.

Kevin has enrolled in PFI’s cover crop and small grains cost-share programs since 2020 and has been practicing no-till and cover crops on every acre of the farm for eight years.

“It’s a simple process,” he says. “PFI is good to work with and helps me protect our soil. Every little bit helps.”

For questions, to check eligibility or for help getting signed up, contact Lydia English at (515) 232-5661 or


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit