Farmers encouraged to seek water quality initiative funding

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The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) encourages farmers to apply for state cost-share assistance for practices that will reduce nutrient runoff and achieve goals set in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) recently announced funding priorities which include cover crops, no-till or strip till and nitrification inhibitors, specifically nitrapyrin with fall applied anhydrous fertilizer. The cost-share rate per acre is $25, $10 and $3, respectively.

“IDALS cost share is a great way for farmers across the state to receive support in implementing and evaluating these practices on their farms. They help hold soil in place, reduce nutrient loss caused by runoff and drainage and help improve water quality,” said Health Ellison, ISA’s Environmental Programs and Services agronomy and natural resources manager.

Any farmer not already planting cover crops, practicing no-till or strip till or using a nitrification inhibitor can apply for assistance at their local Soil and Water Conservation District office. Farmers are only eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres.

IDALS received $3 million in one-time funding to support statewide science-based water quality practices, of which $1.8 million was set aside for disbursement this fall. ISA was instrumental in helping develop the nutrient reduction strategy, with a goal of reducing total nitrogen and phosphorous loads in Iowa waters from both point and nonpoint sources, like farm fields, by 45 percent.

“The ISA On-Farm Network and Environmental Programs and Services teams can partner with farmers to develop replicated strip trails for your cover crop, nitrogen stabilizer and no-till acres in order to collect useful data on the relevance of these efforts to production and environmental stewardship practices,” Ellison said. “ISA has been actively assisting farmers in testing, evaluating and managing many of the practices identified in the nutrient reduction strategy through targeted watershed projects and field research since 2000.”

ISA’s Environmental Programs and Services team helps farmers conserve and protect natural resources, remain profitable and increase yields to meet growing demands for food, feed and fuel—all essential components of long-term sustainability. The association’s On-Farm Network focuses on precision agriculture tools and technology to collect information that can increase growers' profits from crop production.

To learn more about ISA and its environmental programs, go to www.iasoybeans.com.


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