Past Dry Weather Making It Easier to Forget to Check for Wetland Compliance
The past drought may provide farmers a false sense of security when it comes to wetland compliance, according to the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Conservationists warn producers to think about wetland provisions when installing tile, clearing trees or completing other land altering measures.
“Farmers are advised to ask NRCS to check for wetlands before tiling or removing trees or when tiling areas that were cropped the last two years because of the drier than normal conditions,” said Jay Mar, state conservationist for Iowa NRCS.
Persons who request benefits on land that they own or operate that is subject to Wetland Conservation provisions are required to file Form AD-1026 certification at their Farm Service Agency county office. To maintain eligibility for USDA program benefits, USDA participants must certify that they have not produced crops on wetlands converted after Dec. 23, 1985, and that they did not convert a wetland to make agricultural production possible after Nov. 28, 1990.
Any activity that alters natural wetlands, making the production of an agricultural commodity or forage crop more possible is prohibited. These conversion activities may include:
Draining (surface ditching or subsurface tiling)
Clearing woody vegetation where stumps are removed
Diverting run-off water from a wetland (i.e. building a diversion)
Farmers could lose eligibility for USDA programs if they violate wetland conservation provisions, according to USDA FSA State Director John Whitaker. For more information or to request a wetland determination, please visit your local USDA Service Center.
Contact: Marty Adkins, State Resource Conservationist, NRCS, Phone: 515-284-2211; or Vickie Friedow, Conservation Specialist, FSA, Phone: 515-254-1540.