Conservation efforts are succeeding
More farmers and others are participating in Iowa Water Quality Initiative
Protecting and enhancing the quality of the Hawkeye State’s water resources is vitally important. That’s why the Iowa Water Quality Initiative was created in 2013. Among the goals is to help bring about a 45 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses to Iowa’s waters.
The approach taken by this program is especially commendable. It puts a priority on backing undertakings that are genuine collaborations between public and private sector entities.
This month, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that a record number of Iowa farmers have agreed to install nutrient reduction practices on their farms through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative’s statewide cost-share program.
According to information just released by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship “more than 2,800 farmers from all 99 Iowa counties signed up to try cover crops, no-till/strip-till or nitrification inhibitor on more than 300,000 acres.”
The state government’s share of that program’s cost is just a bit more $5 million. The participating Iowa farmers will be investing an estimated $9.1 million.
“We continue to see growing interest by farmers in using water quality-focused practices on their farm. Together, we are building a culture of conservation across the state and it is encouraging to see farmers continuing to invest in these practices,” Naig said. “This is one of several programs that are available to assist farmers as they work to protect water quality and build soil health.”
The success of the various components of the Iowa Water Quality Initiative are quite impressive. According to IDALS:
• Over the past five years, 8,000 farmers, including nearly 4,600 first time users, signed up to use a water quality-focused practice through the Water Quality Initiative.
• These farmers invested more than $17 million to try cover crops, no-till, strip-till or a nitrification inhibitor on their land.
The Messenger welcomes ongoing success of the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. We have supported this vital program since its inception. It deserves strong support from all Iowans.