Implementing conservation practices in your own land can get expensive. Fortunately, there are some programs out there that can potentially help you cover some of the costs!
Federal funding is administered through two federal organizations; the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Both organizations are housed in the same office as the Polk SWCD. Which funding you qualify for depends on what conservation practices you will be implementing.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) – FSA federal funding is given through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This program pays yearly rental rates in exchange for landowners taking environmentally sensitive areas out of production. These areas are usually planted to native prairie or some sort of land cover that will improve the environmental health and quality. Click HERE to learn more about this program.
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) – The NRCS, along with free technical assistance, provides cost share funding through a variety of federal programs. One main program is the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). EQIP offers one time set rates for installation of many common conservation practices. To learn more about the EQIP program visit the NRCS website HERE.
State funding is also available for many conservation practices through a wide range of programs. Most of the options are funded through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and are available throughout the year as funding allows.
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) – IDALS administers multiple cost share programs available to private and public entities. Some of these funds come through the Clean Water Iowa (www.cleanwateriowa.org) program and are distributed through special watershed projects throughout the state. IDALS also has a statewide program where they distribute funds to help cover the cost of cover crops, reduced tillage, and nutrient management. The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program and the Iowa Financial Incentives Program (IFIP) are two other funding sources administered through IDALS.
There is also an opportunity for local funding in Polk County. This funding is very selective and is determined on a project basis. Many of the projects that utilize these funds do not fit under one of the funding sources above or are in a priority watershed. These funds come from private organizations as well as cities and other public entities.