Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Thursday 08/15/13

Iowa, EPA and Encouraging Conservation Cost-Share

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks today at the Iowa State Fair for an event with farmers at the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards.

As the Des Moines Register noted, McCarthy also is expected to tout the president's policies on climate change and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. McCarthy was an EPA assistant administrator before being nominated for the top post. She finally won confirmation last month after the Senate brokered a deal to stop filibusters on several Obama administration nominees.

While McCarthy is at the fair, environmental groups in Iowa will be trying to push her and EPA to force tougher regulations on water quality in the state.

Expect an update on the visit from DTN's Todd Neeley.

As McCarthy comes to the state, the Iowa Soybean Association also issued a news release on Wednesday encouraging farmers to apply for state cost-share assistance for practices to help reduce nutrient runoff and achieve goals set in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

The Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a volunteer program meant to reduce nutrient loads in the state's waterways. It may very well be the last major opportunity to avoid more regulatory controls.

As the release stated, The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship 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 Heath 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%.

“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.

I can be found on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 8:10AM CDT 08/15/13 by Chris Clayton
Comments (3)
Good reporting Around here the cattle feeders disk right through waterways and plant them but never harvest them .Their use of USDA programs means send me the money.All good Republicans.
Posted by melvin meister at 9:44PM CDT 08/15/13
Melvin. Are you the one in Nebraska trying to get by on the GED? Seems you got issues besides just being a troll.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:43AM CDT 08/19/13
Sorry to disapoint you .Just the facts.
Posted by melvin meister at 7:54AM CDT 08/24/13
Post a Blog Comment:
Your Comment:
DTN reserves the right to delete comments posted to any of our blogs and forums, for reasons including profanity, libel, irrelevant personal attacks and advertisements.
Blog Home Pages
September  2014
S M T W T F S
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30            
Subscribe to Ag Policy Blog RSS
Recent Blog Posts
  • U.S. Shanghaied in Smithfield Deal?
  • Route 66: The End of the Trail
  • House Votes to Block EPA WOTUS Rule
  • Vilsack on Easements, Rail and Livestock Aid
  • Base Acre Decisions Are Key to New Farm Bill
  • House Likely to Block EPA's WOTUS Rule
  • Clarifying Some SCO Issues
  • Senators Want GIPA Policy Limits Removed
  • EPA Water Rule Starts in the Ephemeral Streams
  • Looking at Base Acre Decisions Facing Farmers
  • Report: U.S. Lost WTO Ruling
  • NFU Leaders Want to Walk Away from Beef Talks
  • RMA Readying Details on Spring Crops and SCO
  • USDA Readies STAX for 2015
  • 2014 Corn Crop Could Gut Farm Bill Savings
  • House Ag Leaders Push Vilsack on Grain Inspectors
  • Roberts Wins in Kansas; Right to Farm Appears to Win in Missouri
  • Conservation Program, Cover-Crop Research Advance
  • Farmers Urged to Give Lawmakers Earful on CWA, Immigration
  • USDA Releases Greenhouse Gas Report