Fund allocations are made to soil and water conservation districts, commissioners set priorities for their use, and field office staff assure the technical quality of practices built. These practices are  subject to maintenance agreements.

State cost share can be used for temporary or permanent practices. For example:

Temporary practices

Strip till
Field Borders
Cover Crops
Ridge till
Critical Area Planting
Contour strip cropping
Filter strips

Permanent practices

Grade stabilization structures
Grass strips
Pasture and Hay land planting
Grassed waterways
Tree planting
Conservation cover

By investing in soil conservation, you receive the best of both worlds: you improve the productivity of your farm and keep sediment out of the water. The work you do on your farm permanently benefits the quality of life in Iowa.

Financial and Reports Management System (FARMS)

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Program Eligibility

Financial incentive programs of the IDALS Division of Soil Conservation are authorized by Iowa Code and program details are outlined in Section 27, Iowa Administrative Code.  Please note the following summary, or click here to view IAC Section 27, Chapters 10, 11, 12 and 21 in their entirety.

Agricultural Production

Financial incentive funds are available for use on privately owned land used for agricultural production.  “Agricultural production” means the commercial production of food or fiber.  Tracts of land used for agricultural production which are less than ten acres in size and from which less than $2500 of agricultural products are sold annually may not qualify for funds.

Conservation Cover

If a tract of agricultural land has not been plowed or used for growing row crop at any time within the prior 15 years, it is classified as agricultural land under conservation cover.  If that tract is plowed or used for growing row crop, the cost-share rate will be limited to one-half the otherwise applicable rate.  An applicant who knowingly makes a false statement of material facts in entering into a cost-share application commits a simple misdemeanor; and, in addition to the penalty prescribed therefore by law, shall repay the Division of Soil Conservation any financial incentive funds obtained in reliance on the false statement.

Contract Sales

If land is being sold on contract, both the contract buyer and the contract seller must sign the application for financial incentive funds.

District Cooperator

As an applicant in a financial incentive program, you agree to become a District Cooperator.  As such, the District will provide to you technical assistance in planning, applying, and maintaining soil conservation and water management practices on a tract of land.  In addition, authorization is granted to District representatives for ingress and egress upon the land.

Government Units

Funds shall not be used to reimburse units of government for implementing soil and water conservation practices.

Maintenance and Repair

Costs for maintenance and repair of an existing practice are not eligible for funding during the period the practice is covered by a maintenance agreement.

Priority Ranking

Each application for financial incentive funds will be evaluated under the priority system adopted by the Soil and Water Conservation District, which shall be made available for review at the District office.

No-Interest Loans

The 1983 State Legislature established the conservation practices revolving loan fund to provide loans to eligible landowners at no interest for the construction of permanent soil conservation practices.  Authorized in Iowa Code Section 161A.71, eligible landowners may borrow up to $20,000 for a 10-year period.  Repayment is made in 10 annual payments equal to 10% of the initial loan amount.  In the event of land ownership transfer, payment is due immediately.

The Revolving Loan Fund is an alternative to the traditional cost share programs.  It allows a landowner to put a conservation practice on the ground today, with payments extended out over a ten year period.  For some landowners, it also provides tax advantages.

Fund allocations are made to soil and water conservation districts, commissioners set priorities for their useand field office staff assure the technical quality of practices built.  These practices are also subject to maintenance agreements.  Unlike the cost share program, management practices are not authorized.

Stormwater Best Management Practices Loans

Low Interest Loans for Developers, Landowners, Watershed Organizations, Non-MS4 Cities and Others

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State Revolving Loan Fund

Low Interest Loans for Farmers/ Livestock Producers, Landowners, Watershed Organizations, & Others

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