Cover Crop Cost-Share FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions About PFI’s Cover Crop Cost-Share

Q: Do I have to submit an application and be approved before planting cover crops?

A: No. Applications can be submitted before or after the cover crop is seeded. Ballpark numbers for acres are acceptable at enrollment and can be finalized in the wrap-up survey at the conclusion of the program.

Q: Can I enroll in PFI’s program and another program that pays for seeding cover crops?

A: Our program is privately funded and linked to reporting emissions to the supply chain, so individuals can double dip our program with publicly funded programs. However, other privately funded or carbon programs cannot stack on the same acres as PFI. You can enroll in PFI’s program and another carbon program if the acres are different. For example, if you have 100 acres of cover crops, you can enroll 50 with PFI and 50 with the other privately funded program. If you are unsure of stackability, please reach out.

Q: Are you buying and selling carbon credits if you are a private program?

A: No, PFI’s cover crop cost-share is not a carbon market program. The companies that fund the program are interested in making their corn and soybean supply chains more sustainable, which involves supporting farmers who are implementing sustainable practices like cover crops.

Q: Why don’t you fund organic acres?

A: At this time in the program, our funders are not buying organic corn or soybeans, so to be eligible, applicants must enroll non-organic land. However, any acres transitioning to organic are eligible.

Q: Why do you have two different payment rates?

A: Applicants can opt in to a payment rate depending on what documentation they want to provide to verify their cover crops. More documentation is required for the higher rate; thus, we want to compensate individuals with more cost-share for the extra time spent.

Q: Can I get out of a long-term contract?

A: Yes, contracts are non-binding and applicants can cancel at any time. However, within the program year, contracts must be canceled by December 31. After that point, payments are processed, and any contracts previously signed will receive payment.

 Q: Can you mail everything to me?

A: Due to the reach of the program across the Midwest, and to be more efficient, all paperwork is completed electronically. Applications and surveys can be completed over the phone for additional assistance but are not mailed. Mailing exceptions for contracts are made on a case-by-case basis.

Q: When is everything due?

A: We have 2 hard deadlines – Applications are due December 2, 2024, and all paperwork/documentation (contracts, receipts, FSA documents, survey, etc.) are due December 16, 2024.

Q: Do you cost-share spring cover crops?

A: We do not have a specific program for seeding a spring cover crop like the fall program; however, we have an extended rotations cost-share for anyone growing a small grain and following it with a legume cover crop. More information on PFI’s various cost-shares can be found here.

Other resources:

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For other cover crop information, visit our cover crop resource page.