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Northey: Funds available for water quality practices

Posted Aug. 12, 2013

Cost share assistance available for cover crops, no-till/strip till or nitrification inhibitor
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that cost-share funds are available to help farmers install nutrient reduction practices.

The initial practices that are prioritized for funding this fall are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.

“These funds are available to help farmers take steps this fall to reduce nutrient losses,” Northey said. “This is the first step of implementing the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and we have a lot more work to do, but we are excited to start working with farmers to get voluntary science-based conservation practices on the ground.”

The cost-share rate for farmers planting cover crops is $25 per acre and for farmers trying no-till or strip till is $10 per acre. Farmers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre.

Any farmer not already utilizing these practices can apply for assistance. Farmers are only eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres. Farmers can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to apply.

The nitrification inhibitor practice is specific to the use of nitrapyrin with fall applied anhydrous fertilizer only, and does not include the use of nitrapyrin with fall applied manure or other nitrogen fertilizers. It also does not include the use of nitrification inhibitors that do not contain nitrapyrin. As additional science and research develops on the use of nitrapyrin with other nitrogen fertilizers and on other nitrification inhibitors, those may be incorporated into the science assessment as practices with documented potential to reduce the loss of nitrogen and become available as practices identified there.

“By allowing farmers to try new practices on a limited number of acres at a reduced cost we want to showcase the benefits of these practices and encourage farmers to incorporate them into their operation,” Northey said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received $3 million in one-time funding to support statewide science-based water quality practices. The department has set aside up to $1.8 million that will be available to support these practices this fall. The funds can be used over the next five years and it is anticipated additional rounds of funding will be available that will include assistance for additional nutrient reduction practices, including buffers, bio-reactors, wetlands and others listed in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

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