Cost Share available for water quality practices
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the 2021 sign-up period is open for statewide cost share funds to help farmers install conservation practices to improve soil health and water quality. Practices eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till, strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.
“2020 was a record year for engagement in the state’s conservation cost-share programs, yet we still have a lot of work to do to reach our soil health and water quality goals,” said Secretary Naig. “I encourage all farmers and landowners to look for opportunities to add cover crops and other conservation practices to their fields. These programs are a great way to help you get started.”
Cover crops, like rye and oats, prevent soil erosion and lock in nutrients especially during extreme weather events. Cover crops are proven to reduce nitrogen loads by 28-31 percent and phosphorus loads by 29 percent, which helps improve water quality. They also offer weed control for row crops and an additional forage source for cattle producers.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) is currently offering cost share funding for in-field management practices, including planting cover crops, transitioning acres to no-till/strip-till soil management, or applying a nitrification inhibitor.
Farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre and experienced cover crop users can receive $15 per acre. Producers using no-till or strip-till for the first time are eligible for $10 per acre. First time users may also apply for $3 per acre for applying fall fertilizer using a nitrapyrin-based nitrification inhibitor. Cost share funding through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) is limited to 160 acres per farmer or landowner. The funds are available now, so don’t wait too long to sign up!
Farmers should contact the local Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District office at 1921 Superior Street in Webster City by calling the office at 515-832-2916, ext 3 to fill out an application.
Farmers are also encouraged to contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to inquire about additional cost-share opportunities available through other program sources.