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Iowa boosts cover crop incentives

Iowa boosts cover crop incentives

By Andi Anderson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has unveiled expanded cost-share incentives for cover crop planting as part of the state's Water Quality Initiative (WQI). The program, now open for enrollment, aims to bolster Iowa's conservation efforts and enhance water quality statewide.

Under the revised program, first-time cover crop users can receive $30 per acre, while returning participants are eligible for $20 per acre—an increase of $5 from last year. Additionally, farmers transitioning acres to no-till or strip-till can receive $10 per acre. New users implementing a nitrogen inhibitor with fall fertilizer application can also receive $3 per acre. Cost-share funding is capped at 160 acres per participant.

"Planting season presents an opportunity for farmers to prioritize conservation practices on their farms. To support this effort and maintain momentum in cover crop adoption, we've enhanced cost-share incentives for both new and returning participants," stated Secretary Naig. "Iowa has seen record-breaking conservation adoption in recent years, and we aim to continue this trend. I encourage all farmers and landowners to explore this program and other available conservation initiatives."

Last year, over 3,300 farmers and landowners enrolled in the program, resulting in significant conservation gains across the state. More than 375,000 acres of cover crops, 12,600 acres of no-till/strip-till, and 3,200 acres of nitrification inhibitors were enrolled, with a total investment of approximately $6.3 million—leveraging $12.6 million of private investment.

Funds for the program will be allocated in July, but farmers can begin submitting applications immediately through their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices. Interested farmers are encouraged to connect with district staff at their local USDA Service Center to learn about additional cost-share funds and conservation programs available to them.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-eugenesergeev

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Categories: Iowa, Crops

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