Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, working with Iowa’s 100 Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other partners, once again shattered a record for conservation and water quality practice adoption within Iowa during the last fiscal year.
“There has never been more awareness, resources, partners, people and actual conservation work getting done in the State of Iowa than we have today. Despite the supply chain disruptions, inflation, and drought, we continue to see record engagement in our state’s conservation activity,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “While we are far from satisfied with our results and we have much more work to do, we are making progress and the acceleration of this important water quality work will only continue to build as more farmers, landowners, partners, practices, people and resources are added in the years and decades ahead.”
Notably, these record totals of cost-share investments and practices do not take into account all other conservation and water quality funding that is paid for by the farmer and landowner, other government entities, and other public and private partners. They do not factor in other programs at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship which also advance conservation and water quality efforts, including our wetlands program.
Through Water Quality Initiative (WQI), farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre. Those who have already experienced the benefits of using cover crops and are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre. Farmers transitioning acres to no-till or strip-till for the first time are eligible for $10 per acre. A payment of $3 per acre is available to first-time users of a nitrogen inhibitor when applying fall anhydrous ammonia fertilizer. WQI cost-share funding is available for up to 160 acres per farmer or landowner for each practice.
Iowa Financial Incentives Program (IFIP) program funding is available as a continuous year-round signup and offers cost-share opportunities for a wide variety of conservation offerings. These include management practices such as cover crops as well as permanent structural practices such as terraces and grade stabilization structures.
Farmers and landowners can visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District office located in the USDA Service Center in their county to learn more about program eligibility and to sign-up to participate.