The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), working with Iowa’s 100 Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other partners, once again shattered a record for conservation and water quality practice adoption within Iowa during the last fiscal year.

“There has never been more awareness, resources, partners, people and actual conservation work getting done in the State of Iowa than we have today. Despite the supply chain disruptions, inflation, and drought we continue to see record engagement in our state’s conservation activity,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. 

Notably, these record totals of cost-share investments and practices do not take into account all other conservation and water quality funding that is paid for by the farmer and landowner, other government entities, and other public and private partners. They do not factor in other programs at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship which also advance conservation and water quality efforts, including our wetlands program.


Department-wide Summary:

  • $21.86 million in total cost-share paid, which leveraged a total spending of $52.67 million in practice implementation. In the year prior, $18.79 million and $47.89 million were the respective totals. This shows a growth of more than $3 million over last year in total cost-share funding delivered. Ten years ago, in FY13, the totals were $8.24 million and $22.85 million respectively.
  • There was a record number of practices funded at 6,751. This is up nearly 865 from the previous year’s 5,886, which had also been a record.

Water Quality Initiative (WQI):

  • Of the department-wide investment total, more than $12 million was as a result of the Water Quality Initiative. This is up from $10.14 million last year.
  • We have grown from approximately 700 practices funded a decade ago utilizing Water Quality Initiative funds to 4,785 this past year.

The Iowa Financial Incentives Program (IFIP):

  • IFIP started in 1973 and is celebrating 50 years of providing cost-share to Iowa farmers and landowners. Demand for these funds remains high, with more applicants than funding available.
  • 91 percent of the IFIP funding was used for permanent structural practices, such as terraces and basins, grassed waterways, grade stabilization structures, and more.
  • IFIP provided financial assistance for 880 practices with cost share of $6.24 million. The total project costs amount to $15.76 million.

Additional Cost-Share Programs:

  • Approximately $3 million of the department-wide funding total was provided by programs including the Resource Enhance and Protection Program (REAP), Watershed Protection Fund, District Buffer Initiative, and others.

Read More Here