Following the recent storms and flooding, the Iowa Department of Agriculture reminds farmers and landowners that $7.8 million is available through the state conservation cost-share program to help install soil saving practices. Farmers can contact their local soil and water conservation district to apply for assistance of up to 50% of the cost of the project.
“The frequent, heavy rainfall we’ve seen this summer can help identify areas where additional soil conservation practices are needed. We encourage farmers or landowners to contact their local soil and water conservation district office for more information about cost-share assistance available,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Now is a good time to plan ahead, so you are ready to go with construction of the practices as soon as crops are out of the field this fall.”
Practices eligible for cost share
The Iowa conservation cost-share program has been in place for more than 40 years. It’s a partnership between the state and local landowners, to cover the cost of installing a conservation practice.
Conservation practices eligible for assistance through this program include terraces, waterways, ponds, buffers, cover crops and several other conservation practices.
The Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship also has funds for practices targeted to improve water quality. Practices eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or use of a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.
“These funds are a great investment by the state, and historically, farmers contribute $1.50 for each dollar invested by the state,” Naig says.
More information at SWCD
Iowa has 100 SWCD offices across the state (one in each county and two in Pottawattamie) that set priorities and use the funds to support farmers who are implementing conservation practices on their land. The offices are co-located with the USDA Service Center in each county. A directory lists each SWCD office.
In addition, 5% of the appropriation for soil conservation cost-share goes toward protecting the water quality of publicly owned lakes in Iowa. Cost share in these areas is available for up to 75% of the cost of the project. Eligible lakes are:
• Lake Binder, Adams SWCD
• Lake Icaria, Adams SWCD
• Clarke County Reservoir, Clarke SW
• West Lake, Clarke SWC
• Lake Geode, Des Moines and Henry SWCDs
• Volga Lake, Fayette SWCD
• Lake Miami, Monroe SWCD
• Hickory Grove Lake, Story SWCD
• Three Mile Lake, Union and Adair SWCDs
• Twelve Mile Lake, Union and Adair SWCDs
Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture