Private landowners in three project areas in Iowa have until October 16 to receive priority conservation funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Landowners in the project areas may request assistance at their local USDA Service Center.
The RCPP is a program introduced in the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which has offices in every county in Iowa. Through RCPP, landowners in select project areas can receive higher-than- normal payment rates for practices that treat priority natural resource concerns.
Conservation partners coordinate projects to deliver funding
Conservation partners coordinate RCPP activities with NRCS to deliver assistance to producers through agreements, contracts or easements.
State project: In eastern Iowa, the city of Cedar Rapids serves as the lead partner for the Middle Cedar Partnership Project. The focus is improving water quality, water quantity and soil health in the Cedar River Watershed through best management practices such as cover crops, nutrient management, wetlands and saturated buffers. The Cedar River Watershed covers portions of Black Hawk, Tama and Benton counties.
National project: Led by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, the Iowa Targeted Demonstration Watersheds Partnership Project focuses on adopting practices that reduce nutrient loading. The nine selected watersheds were targeted because of a history of high nutrient losses, and currently have water quality improvement projects in place. Private landowners in the following watersheds are eligible:
•West Branch of the Floyd River (Sioux County)
•Deep Creek (Plymouth County)
• Boone River 1 (Kossuth, Hancock, Humboldt, Wright counties)
• Boone River 2 (Wright, Hamilton counties)
•Central Turkey River (Chickasaw, Winneshiek, Fayette counties)
•Upper Robert's Creek/West and Silver Creek (Allamakee, Clayton counties)
• West Fork Crooked Creek (Keokuk, Washington counties)
•Cedar Creek (Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson counties)
•Lower Skunk (Jefferson, Henry, Van Buren, Lee counties)
Another national project: The goal of the second national project, known as the Regional Grassland Bird and Grazing Initiative, is to create and implement management strategies to integrate habitat needs of grassland-dependent birds on grazing lands. Led by the Missouri Department of Conservation, landowners in Iowa's southern two tiers of counties are eligible to apply for conservation funding through this project.
To learn more about technical and financial assistance available through other NRCS programs, visit nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or your local USDA Service Center.