Millions available for conservation practices

DES MOINES ? Following the recent storms and flooding, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig highlighted the $7.8 million that is available through the state conservation cost share program to help farmers and landowners install conservation practices.

?The frequent, heavy rainfall we have been seeing can help identify areas where additional soil conservation practices are needed,? Naig said.

Farmers can contact the local Soil and Water Conservation District offices to apply for assistance of up to 50 percent of the cost of the project.

The Iowa conservation cost share program has been in place for more than 40 years and is a partnership between the state and local landowners, with both parties cover the cost of a building or 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 Agriculture and Land Stewardship also has funds available for practices targeted toward improving water quality. Practices eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.

In addition, 5 percent 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 percent of the cost of the project. Eligible lakes are: Lake Binder, Adams SWCD; Lake Icaria, Adams SWCD; Clarke County Reservoir, Clarke SWCD; West Lake, Clarke SWCD; 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; and Twelve Mile Lake, Union and Adair SWCDs.

A directory for SWCD offices is at