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News Release

USDA Provides $31 Million in CSP, EQIP to Iowa Farmers in 2013

DES MOINES, IOWA, Nov. 20, 2013— USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided more than $31 million in conservation funding to Iowa farmers in fiscal year 2013 through two of the most popular Farm Bill financial assistance programs – the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. Iowa NRCS obligated nearly $27.3 million through 1,462 contracts covering about 139,000 acres to farmers in all 99 counties. Through EQIP, farmers can choose from a conservation practice list developed at the county level to treat local resource concerns. Examples of EQIP conservation practices include terraces, grassed waterways, residue management (no-till or strip-till), animal waste facilities, cover crops, prescribed grazing systems, and nutrient and pest management.

Iowa’s EQIP totals include three Landscape Initiatives – the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), and the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative (DALCI). These Initiatives accounted for about $7.6 million of Iowa’s EQIP funding. In addition, more than 10 percent of Iowa’s EQIP funding went to historically underserved landowners, which includes socially disadvantaged, beginning, and limited resource producers.

EQIP Highlights:
• Delaware County led the state in EQIP funding with more than $1.9 million in financial aid.
• Iowa landowners planted cover crops on 92,753 acres with EQIP assistance.
• EQIP funded 46 beginner farmer contracts worth $2.46 million.

CSP is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to comprehensively address resource concerns by undertaking additional conservation activities while improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. CSP pays participants for conservation performance – the higher the performance, the higher the payment. In 2013, Iowa NRCS obligated more than $3.8 million through 381 contracts covering 175,346 acres.

CSP Highlights:
• Jackson, Washington and Winneshiek Counties led Iowa with 18 contracts each.
• Floyd County led in CSP funding with $959,735, followed by Pocahontas County with $915,585.
• Tama County led in acres treated with 7,399, followed closely by Pocahontas (7,252) and Jackson (7,233).

For more information about Iowa NRCS conservation programs, visit