Secretary Naig Announces Cost Share Funding Available to Implement Water Quality Practices in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (May 21, 2019) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that farmers and landowners can now sign-up for 2019 cost share funds to help install nutrient reduction practices around the state. The funds can be used to off-set the cost of cover crops, no-till/strip till or a nitrification inhibitor, which help improve soil health, reduce erosion and improve water quality.
“As Iowans, we must all work together to make measurable progress in our water quality initiatives,” said Secretary Naig. “The ag community recognizes the value of conservation practices and we are committed to protecting our natural resources for future generations. The 2017 Census of Ag showed a 256 percent increase in the use of cover crops since the 2012 Census. We continue building on that success year over year.”
Farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre through the cost share fund. Farmers who have already experienced the benefits of using cover crops and are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre. Growers using no-till or strip till for the first time to reduce soil erosion and input costs are eligible for $10 per acre. Using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor to apply fall fertilizer makes farmers eligible for $3 per acre through the cost share fund.
Cost share funding through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is limited to 160 acres per farmer or landowner. The funds will be made available in July, but farmers can start submitting applications immediately through their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices.
Farmers are encouraged to contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices to inquire about additional cost share funds available through other sources.
Last fall, 2,800 farmers participated in the program and invested an estimated $9 million in funding to match $5 million through the state’s cost share fund. Participants included 1,000 farmers using a conservation practice for the first time and more than 1,800 farmers continuing their conservation practices.
$500 million was invested in conservation practices in Iowa through public and private partnerships and funding sources during the 2018 reporting period, according to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy annual report.