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.
• 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.
• 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 www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.