Published Aug 2, 2023

Applications open for Practical Farmers’ cover crop cost-share

By Elizabeth Wilhelm
Farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota are eligible


Elizabeth Wilhelm | Media Relations Coordinator | (515) 232-5661 |

AMES, Iowa (Aug. 2, 2023) — Midwestern farmers looking for support to implement cover crops can now get cost-share and technical assistance for the increasingly common practice, thanks to Practical Farmers of Iowa’s cover crop cost-share program. Sign-ups are now open, and program participants can get payment rates of $10 per acre on an unlimited number of acres.

“We continue to see more and more farmers interested in cover crops, which is great,” says Morgan Jennings, PFI’s field crops viability coordinator. “This program is perfect for farmers who want to try cover crops but aren’t sure where to start, as well as those more experienced with covers. In addition to payments, we also offer farmers step-by-step support from our staff agronomists. We’re excited to bring this program to farmers again and look forward to getting more cover crops on the land.”

For years, the cover crop cost-share program has helped farmers reach their cover crop goals. In 2022 alone, PFI paid more than 1,100 farmers over $3.1 million to seed cover crops. In total last year, PFI’s program supported farmers in planting over 360,000 acres of cover crops across the Midwest.

Fred Abels, a farmer who raises corn and cover crop seed has enrolled in PFI’s cover crop cost-share every year since 2018.

“It is quick and easy, and the staff at PFI are great to work with,” says Fred Abels, who farms in Holland, Iowa. “The companies supporting the cost-share show that they are willing to put skin in the game, and we as farmers need to give cover crops a try.”

Of those who participated in PFI’s program, 90% said they would refer friends or other farmers to the cost-share. Participants also reported that using cover crops decreased weed pressure, increased long-term yield stability and provided additional forage or grazing value.

Farmers in Iowa and parts of Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota are eligible for the program. Both farmers with a history of cover crop use and those seeding cover crops for the first time are eligible. New this year, farmers have the option to sign up for one-year or four-year contracts.

The application form only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and 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). Full details and the application form are available at

For questions, to check eligibility or for help getting signed up, farmers should contact Morgan Jennings at (515) 232-5661 or, or visit


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa is a nonprofit with more than 6,000 members that equips farmers to build resilient farms and communities. We create learning opportunities via farmer-led events, on-farm research and educational content through our robust network of farmers. We also provide funding and technical assistance to help farmers adopt regenerative farming practices and grow farm businesses. Our vision is an Iowa with healthy soil, healthy food, clean air, clean water, resilient farms and vibrant communities. To learn more, visit