wetlandUSDA’S Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making more than $9.4 million available in financial and technical assistance for Iowa farmers through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Eligible farmers have until May 15 to sign up at their local USDA Service Center to receive priority funding in 2015.

The majority of Iowa ACEP funding—$8.7 million—will be used to restore, protect or enhance wetlands. Nearly $750,000 will be used to protect working agricultural lands. "Conservation easements are an important tool to help landowners and partners voluntarily provide long-term protection of our nation’s farmland, wetlands and grasslands for future generations," said Jay Mar, state conservationist for NRCS in Iowa. Nationally, NRCS is making $332 million available through ACEP.