Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announced that the state’s 2,382 farmers contributed $13 million dollars toward conservation practices during Iowa’s 2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014). As part of a cost-share program, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship contributed an additional $9.5 million in cost share and administrative support.
“The state cost-share program has been around for more than 40 years, and we continue to see very strong demand from farmers and landowners who more than match the state investment to install conservation practices,” Northey says. “Thanks to investments by farmers and the state funds, more than $22 million was used to build conservation structures and adopt conservation practices that prevent erosion and improve water quality.”
According to the annual report, farmers put the money toward the following types of projects:
- 58% - construction of terraces
- 13% - management practices including cover crops, no-till and strip-till to reduce erosion
- 11% - grade stabilization structures
- 9% - grassed waterway development
- 7% - water and sediment control basins
- 2% - other conservation practices
The report also details how farmers can work with their own local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices to apply for cost-share assistance. This fiscal year, the Department has more than $6.75 million set aside to help farmers and landowners to invest in additional conservation practices. Eligible practices include terraces, waterways, buffers, cover crops and more.
For a copy of the soil conservation cost-share annual report, visit the “Hot Topics” section of www.IowaAgriculture.gov.