Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that farmers and landowners can now sign up for cost-share funds through the state’s Water Quality Initiative. The funds can be used to help install conservation practices that im­­prove soil health and water quality, including cover crops, no-till/strip-till practices or a nitrification inhibitor.

Farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre through the cost-share fund. Farmers who have already experienced the benefits of using cover crops and are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre. Growers using no-till or strip-till for the first time to reduce soil erosion and input costs are eligible for $10 per acre. Farmers who use a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor to apply fall fertilizer are eligible for $3 per acre through the cost-share fund. 

Cost-share funding is limited to 160 acres per farmer or landowner. The funds will be made available in July, but farmers can start submitting applications immediately through their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices.