Interested entities and their landowner partners have until March 11 to apply for this year’s Iowa funding allocation to protect working croplands and grasslands.
An ALE easement protects agricultural land from being converted to a non-agricultural use. Grazing and pastureland can also be protected through ALE. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing the easements, contributing up to 50 percent of the easement value of the land for agricultural lands. The NRCS assistance is matched by the partner entity. The landowner may continue to farm the land.
Landowners interested in enrolling their working farms into this program must partner with a cooperating entity on their application. Eligible landowners include Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland.
NRCS administers ACEP-ALE but will not hold the easement deeds with individuals. NRCS offices can provide interested landowners with contact information of eligible cooperating entities.