Programs

Conservation Cost-Sharing

State Revolving Loan
Conservation Revolving Loan Funds Stormwater Best Management Practices Loan
Water Quality Protection Projects Resource Enhancement & Protection

Districts also play a key role in promoting and carrying out federal programs, including, but not limited to:

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
  Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) Conservation Planning
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP
Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI)  

EQIP—Environmental Quality Incentives Program: The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. This program is available to farmers, and offers financial and technical assistance to install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Applications for EQIP can be made at local NRCS offices.

The EQIP application is based on assistance and decisions reached with producers during the conservation planning process. EQIP applications are prioritized for funding using a state or locally developed ranking worksheet that generally considers cost-effectiveness, resources to be treated, meeting national EQIP priorities, compliance with federal, state or tribal environmental regulations or reducing the need for future regulations and, to a degree, the location of the contract. Funded EQIP applications result in a contract which lists the practices to be applied along with an application schedule and federal funds committed. Conservation practices applied with EQIP funds are to be maintained for the service life of the practice, which may be longer than the term of the EQIP contract. The minimum contract length is one year after the implementation of the last scheduled practice with a maximum length of ten years. The implemented practices are subject to NRCS technical standards. Farmers may elect to use NRCS or a Technical Service Provider for EQIP technical assistance.

Please give us a call or stop by our office for more program information and eligibility requirements. 

For more information on EQIP, Please visit:  http://www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/stateeqip.html 

 

CRP—Conservation Reserve Program:  FSA and NRCS administer the CRP.  This program has two ways to enroll.  The General Conservation Reserve Program is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The program cost-shares tree planting and grass establishment on highly erodible land and pays landowners an annual rental payment for up to 15 years. Although the date of the next general CRP sign-up is uncertain; there is also a continuous sign-up for highly sensitive environmental areas such as riparian areas adjacent to streams and creek, bottomland areas, and living snowfences.   Through continuous sign-up, landowners can find out if land is eligible, find out the payment they will receive if the land is enrolled and can sign up at any time.  Eligible land is automatically accepted into the continuous CRP. 

Under the general CRP sign-up landowners can receive around $100 per acre land rental rate and 50% cost-share reimbursement for installation of the CRP practice

For more information on CRP visit:  http://www.fsa.usda.gov/

 

MRBI-Mississippi River Basin Initiative:

To improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat, the Natural Resources Conservation Service is developing the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI). Through this new Initiative, NRCS and its partners will help producers in selected watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity.

These improvements will be accomplished through a conservation systems approach to manage and optimize nitrogen and phosphorous within fields to minimize runoff and reduce downstream nutrient loading. NRCS will provide producers assistance with a system of practices that will control soil erosion, improve soil quality, and provide wildlife habitat while managing runoff and drainage water for improved water quality.

The Initiative will build on the past efforts of producers, NRCS, partners, and other State and Federal agencies in the 12-State Initiative area to address nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin. Nutrient loading contributes to both local water quality problems and the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The 12 participating States are Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

NRCS will offer this Initiative in FYs 2010 through 2013, dedicating at least $80 million in each fiscal year. This is in addition to the agency’s regular program funding in the 12 Initiative States and funding by other Federal agencies, States, and partners and the contributions of producers.

For more information on MRBI pleasea visit:  http://www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/MRBI.html

 

REAP—Resource Enhancement and Protection Program: REAP is a program in the State of Iowa that invests in, as its name implies, the enhancement and protection of the state's natural and cultural resources. Iowa is blessed with a diverse array of natural and cultural resources, and REAP is likewise diverse and far reaching. Depending on the individual programs, REAP provides money for projects through state agency budgets or in the form of grants. Several aspects of REAP also encourage private contributions that help accomplish program objectives.

Based on their submitted proposal and allotment, REAP funds may be available for soil conservation practices through Soil and Water Conservation Districts. 

For more information regarding REAP visit:  http://www.iowareap.com/ 

 

WHIP—Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program:  WHIP provides cost-share reimbursement for wildlife habitat practices. A portion of Iowa's WHIP allocation will be set aside for woodland wildlife habitat improvement. WHIP will also cost-share on wildlife practices that improve grasslands, riparian corridors, shelterbelts, windbreaks, native prairie restoration, and aquatic habitat.

For more information on WHIP visit:  http://www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip.html 

 

WRP—Wetland Reserve Program:  Iowa landowners are interested in the wetland restoration programs for both environmental and economic reasons. The primary reason for participation is economic. Continuing to farm wet or frequently flooded marginal soils gives less financial return than does a wetland easement in a USDA program.  Also important to the farmers entering the programs are the benefits wetlands give to wildlife and water quality.

Iowa's wetland restoration goal is to reestablish wetland ecosystems. Restoration activities typically include tile breaks, ditch plugs, shallow excavations, water control structures, and seedings of native grasses and forbs.

Under WRP, administered by the NRCS, landowners can restore wetlands by signing a permanent easement, a 30-year easement, or by restoring the land under a restoration cost share agreement. 

For more information on WRP please visit:  http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp/states/ia.html