We’re off to a busy start for the new year. This week we announced the details of Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) in certain states for non-irrigated corn. This provides coverage for producers who “split-apply” nitrogen, making multiple fertilizer applications during the growing season rather than providing all the crop’s nitrogen requirements with a single treatment before or during planting. This practice can lead to lower input costs for farmers and helps prevent runoff and leaching of nutrients into waterways and groundwater.

As new farming practices become widely adopted, USDA studies these methods and determines if the data supports their continued use and designation as a good farming practice. RMA may then work to accommodate these adaptations by producers with insurance policy modifications.

Over the last decade, we have seen more farmers using other ecofriendly practices that support farm conservation. Examples include the use of cover crops and no-till, which Federal crop insurance now supports, and some states subsidize. In 2020, we approved changes to provide coverage for rice farmers using intermittent flooding methods, which saves water costs without negatively impacting crop yield. Rolling out PACE this week is a continuation of our ongoing efforts to provide insurance options that encourage the use of conservation practices that benefit not just the environment, but also producers’ balance sheets.

A no-till farmer in Indiana plants corn directly into his cover crops
Photo by Brandon O’Connor, Indiana NRCS, May 13, 2021

Our nation’s agricultural communities are on the frontlines crafting solutions to address climate change and improve the environment. And we’re continually working with those we serve to adapt our programs to meet the needs and challenges producers face. This is the time for agriculture and rural communities to act together with climate smart solutions that also improve the profitability and resilience of producers.

– Marcia