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328573

Cost-share funds for soil health and water quality available in Iowa

Farmers and landowners can now sign up for state cost-share funds in Iowa. These funds help farmers adopt soil health and water quality practices, including planting cover crops, transitioning acres to no-till/strip-till soil management or applying a nitrification inhibitor.

“Iowa farmers and landowners continue to rise to the challenge of improving our state’s soil health and water quality by implementing new conservation practices,” said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig. “I encourage all farmers and landowners to look for opportunities to add new conservation practices to their fields to help protect our land for future generations and make measurable progress toward our water quality goals. This program is a great way to get started.”

Farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre through the cost-share fund. Farmers who have already experienced the benefits of using cover crops and are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre.

Producers transitioning acres to no-till or strip-till are eligible for $10 per acre, and may receive $3 per acre for applying fall fertilizer using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor.

Cost-share funding through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is limited to 160 acres per farmer or landowner.

The funds will be made available in July, but farmers can start submitting applications immediately through their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices. Farmers are encouraged to call their Soil and Water Conservation District offices to inquire about additional cost-share funds available through other sources.

With farmers stewarding more than two million acres of cover crops across the state, Iowa continues to be a conservation leader.

Last fall, over 3,500 farmers and landowners enrolled in the cost-share program funded through the Water Quality Initiative.

More than 413,000 acres of cover crops, 13,700 acres of no-till/strip-till and 5,400 acres of nitrification inhibitors were enrolled in the program in 2021.

An estimated $14 million of private funding was invested to match the $6.9 million contributed by the state.

To learn more about the soil health and water quality projects underway around Iowa, visit cleanwateriowa.org.

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