Agriculture

Money available to protect water quality for farmers

More than 700 Iowa farmers seeking funds

Conservation efforts along the 17 mile Farmer’s Creek in Jackson County have reduced sediment and nutrients by 40% on Thursday, December 6, 2012. Water quality improved so much the creek was chosen as the first location in Iowa where native muscles were seeded.  Bob and Judy Kremer participated in the voluntary program that helped pay for a manure facility for the Kremer’s cattle, fencing off the stream from livestock and stream bank stabilization on this section of the creek that flows through their farm. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
Conservation efforts along the 17 mile Farmer’s Creek in Jackson County have reduced sediment and nutrients by 40% on Thursday, December 6, 2012. Water quality improved so much the creek was chosen as the first location in Iowa where native muscles were seeded. Bob and Judy Kremer participated in the voluntary program that helped pay for a manure facility for the Kremer’s cattle, fencing off the stream from livestock and stream bank stabilization on this section of the creek that flows through their farm. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

Iowa farmers can get financial assistance to help reduce the cost of installing practices focused on protecting water quality.

Practices eligible for the funding include 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 they apply fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre.

First-time users who apply by July 24 will be the first applications funded.

First-time users who apply after July 24 still will receive priority consideration, but cost share assistance at $15 per acre also will be available to farmers who have used cover crops in the past.

Farmers are eligible for cost share assistance on a maximum of 160 acres.

“We already have $1.6 million in applications from more than 700 farmers interested in doing more on their farm to protect water quality,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey in a news release. “Fortunately, as a result of the significant increase in funding for water quality, we have addition funds available.”

Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law $9.6 million to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative, which is an increase of $5.2 million from the $4.4 million provided last year.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship also received $6.75 million for conservation cost share, a portion of which can be used on management practices such as cover crops.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

In the two years that the funding has been available, more than 1,400 farmers have installed nutrient reduction practices on more than 144,000 acres. The state provided about $3.4 million to help farmers try a water quality practice for the first time.

Iowa farmers provided $3.4 million to support the water quality practices.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.