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ISA urges farmers to seek water quality funding

By Staff | Oct 21, 2013

ANKENY (ISA) – The Iowa Soybean Association is encouraging 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 announced in August 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,” said Health Ellison, ISA’s Environmental Programs and Services agronomy and natural resources manager. “They help hold soil in place, reduce nutrient loss caused by runoff and drainage and help improve water quality.”

Any farmer not already planting cover crops, practicing no-till or stri- 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 trials for cover crop, nitrogen stabilizer and no-till acres,” Elliason said, “in order to collect useful data on the relevance of these efforts to production and environmental stewardship practices.

“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.”

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