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Keeping Iowa’s Water Clean

July 31, 2014 9:43 am by: Category: Agriculture, Education, Featured, Recent News 1 Comment A+ / A-

This summer, thousands of Iowans will be swimming, fishing, and boating in and on our lakes and rivers. Those recreational opportunities are even better with clean water.

Over the past two years, the Legislature has provided millions of dollars to help improve Iowa’s water quality through the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The strategy was prepared by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. More information can be found at

As of last week, in less than five business days, the $1.4 million in cost share funds made available statewide by IDALS to help farmers install new nutrient reduction practices have been obligated.  The practices that were eligible for this funding were cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer.

These Iowa farmers also committed to match the state’s investment for a total of $2.8 million in new water quality practices. Last year, the available funding was committed in 12 days, which shows that Iowans want to have clean water.

IDALS received applications covering 59,883 acres from 597 different farmers seeking to participate in the program.  That includes 54,679 acres of cover crops, 2,531 acres of nitrification inhibitor, 1,656 acres of no-till and 1,015 acres of strip-till.  Farmers in 90 of 100 Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state received funding.

The Legislature appropriated this funding for these grants. Unfortunately, Governor Branstad vetoed the additional $10 million the Legislature provided for grants to Iowans to improve Iowa’s water quality. Even Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said through a statement that he was very disappointed by the Governor’s decision to veto the money, calling it a lost opportunity to do even more to build on the exciting momentum we are seeing around the Iowa water quality initiative.

Other water quality programs funded by the Legislature include the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program, volunteer water quality initiatives, lakes restoration, water quality monitoring stations, wetland incentives, water protection programs, conservation reserve program, closing agricultural drainage wells, and farm demonstrations to prove the effectiveness of emerging practices in agronomy that protect water resources and provide other environmental benefits.


Comments (1)

  • Don Steichen

    Wanted to send you a letter expressing my concern over water Quality. I’m an iowater volunteer and believe we need to protect our water for everyones sake and the environment and not cut the budjet of the DNR.
    On another subject the other day I went to garnish someones wages again and found another stipulation. It’s getting almost unbareable to jump through all the hoops. I had a woman that rented my house and decided to move, not pay rent(Bad check) and then decided she’d make money by subleasing for $1000. She laughed that she rented a month free and even made a $1000 off me. Had to forcefully evict the two bad subleasers who destroyed the house ($2000) because they thought they had rights. Got the judgment (SCSC1811171) but it’s been active since 2009. Most people won’t persue this ave and write it off. I did it for principle, these people go from person to person and don’t think nothing of it. This file is over an inch thick and can’t even guess of the time I have in it.
    I’ve got a solution that will help countys with paper work, close cases and generate funds for county/city/state and victoms of small claims judgements. Allow plaintiffs including cities to garnish State income tax refunds like child support. Charging a fee for filing of $100(half to the county and half to the state) to cover costs of paperwork. Too many people think that society owes them everything. This would even the playing field, send a clear message and help everyone involved
    Thanks for listening, Don Steichen

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