Your soybeans could be worth more due to demand for sustainably-sourced mayonnaise.
Landus is partnering with Unilever, the manufacturer of Hellman’s mayonnaise, for a cost-share cover crop program.
Those who sell soybeans to any Landus location are eligible to enroll in a cost-share program through the Landus/Unilever Sustainable Soy program. First-time cover crop growers will receive $40 per acre up to 40 acres to try cover crops on their farm. Those who have been using cover crops will receive $10 per acre up to 160 acres, or 10 percent of their acres farmed, whichever is larger.
“Consumers are increasingly looking for sustainability information about how their food is grown,” said Matt Carstens, president and CEO at Landus. “Farmers should get credit in the supply chain for their great conservation work. The Landus/Unilever program pays farmers to give cover crops a try or continue them as part of their operation. Our Landus team wants farmers to have every available tool to elevate the value of their soybeans.”
The Unilever program is available in addition to the premiums offered by Landus for delivery to its soy processing facility in Ralston, Iowa.
In addition, the Landus /Unilever payments can be stacked with other incentives offered through federal and state programs such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship also offers discounts on crop insurance premiums for those who use cover crops.
Cover crop experts suggest farmers start small when beginning cover crop usage to make their management less intimidating. This is the reasoning behind the 40-acre cap for new users with this incentive program. As farmers get comfortable using cover crops in their farm management strategy, they can add cover crops to more acres.
The benefits of cover crop usage start to show around year two or three, when soil organic matter and nutrients increase, infiltration improves, and weeds are suppressed.
These programs are managed through Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and details are outlined on the PFI website. The webpage includes an enrollment form.