NRCS Improves Impaired Watersheds in Iowa
Paul Goldsmith, EQIP Coordinator
Agricultural Producers located in priority watersheds will be able to participate
DES MOINES, IA, April 29, 2013 — State Conservationist Jay Mar today announced additional funding for an initiative to improve water quality in four selected Iowa watersheds.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will make financial assistance available this year to help farmers and forestland owners install conservation practices that manage nutrients, pathogens and sediments. Funding comes through the agency’s National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
Iowa’s NWQI watersheds include:
NRCS worked closely with partners to select the priority watersheds. State agencies, key partners and technical experts chose the four watersheds, where on-farm conservation investments have the best chance to improve water quality.
Eligible producers will receive assistance for installing practices such as nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, terraces, and in some cases, edge-of-field water quality monitoring.
Mar says NRCS is also piloting its new Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff through this water quality initiative. “The tool will help landowners determine how alternative conservation systems will impact water quality improvement,” he said.
Additionally, state water quality agencies and other partners will do in-stream and watershed-level monitoring to track water quality improvements in many of the project watersheds.
NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. Visit your local NRCS office for more information or go online, www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov.
Paul Goldsmith, EQIP Coordinator, USDA-NRCS, Iowa