NORTHEY: STATEWIDE COST-SHARE AVAILABLE FOR WATER QUALITY PRACTICES

Written by Theresa Rose on May 12, 2015

Cover crops, no-till/strip-till or nitrification inhibitor eligible for assistance

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced today that funds are available to help farmers install nutrient reduction practices. Practices eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.

The cost share rate for first-time users of cover crops is $25 per acre, no-till or strip till are eligible for $10 per acre and farmers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre. Any farmer not already utilizing these practices will receive priority consideration for this assistance. Farmers that have used cover crops in the past may be eligible for $15 per acre for cover crops.

“We continue to hear from farmers interested in doing even more to limit nutrient loss and better protect water quality and these funds will help them try new voluntary science-based conservation practices on their farm,” Northey said.

Farmers are eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres. The funds will be made available in July, but farmers can immediately start submitting applications through their local Soil and Water Conservation District office.

Farmers are also encouraged to visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to inquire about additional opportunities for cost share funding through other programs offered at their local SWCDs.

“As farmers are busy planting, we wanted to get the announcement out as soon as possible so our staff and partners can prepare to sign-up interested farmers if there are rain delay or as field work is wrapped up,” Northey said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received $4.4 million for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in fiscal 2015. These funds will allow the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to continue to encourage the broad adoption of water quality practices through statewide cost share assistance as well as more intensive work in targeted watersheds.

In the last 2 years this program has been available, over 1,400 farmers put in new nutrient reduction practices on over 144,000 acres. The state provided about $3.4 million in cost share funding to help farmers try a water quality practice for the first time and Iowa farmers provided at least another $3.4 million to support these water quality practices.