Programs

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Purpose: To reduce erosion, increase wildlife habitat, and improve water quality through the application of conservation plans (land-owner sets aside cropland with annual rental payments)

Practices: Tree planting, grass cover, small wetland restoration, prairie restoration, and others.

Eligibility: Varies by soil type and crop history. For general sign-ups, land is accepted into the program if the offer qualifies. Continuous sign-up is open for buffers, waterways, and environmental practice is now paying for 100-foot wide snow catch area with a match for areas near state highways, non-floodplain wetlands restoration initiative, and northern bobwhite quail habitat initiative.

Contract: 10-15 years depending on the type of practice. Transferable with change in ownership.

Contact: FSA, NRCS, DNR

 

 

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

Purpose: To reward farmers and landowners for past conservation work and provide technical and financial assistance to help implement conservation plans that address specific natural resource concerns and complete more conservation work.

Practices: Existing and new stewardship practice and enhancement activities.

Eligibility: Private Ag land and non-industrial forest land planted, except for land in WRP, CRP, and GRP. Sign-up is continuous.

Contract: 5-year contracts; annual payment is based on contract details.

Contact: NRCS, SWCDs

 

Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA)

Purpose: To assist land users to plan and install resource management systems that will improve and protect natural resources on their land.

Systems: Includes many different practices to reduce soil erosion; improve soil, water, and air quality; improve and restore wetlands; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; improve pasture and rangeland; reduce upstream flooding; and improve woodlands.

Eligibility: All land users may receive technical assistance from the NRCS. Land users are encouraged to work through their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to become district cooperators.

Contract: Contracts vary by programs and practices.

Contact: NRCS, SWCDs

 

District Initiatives

Purpose: Develop and implement locally-led initiatives which prioritize and target sensitive areas by providing funds and resources where they do the most good, to accelerate the implementation of federal programs to protect water quality and fragile land. The statewide Buffer Initiative is one very successful example.

Practices: Practices include buffer strips, waterways, riparian buffers, contour buffer strips, shallow water areas for wildlife, well-head protection, etc.

Eligibility: Landowners with land that qualifies for federal conservation programs.

Contracts: Financial assistance available through voluntary agreement with SWCDs.

Contact: DSC-WQ, SWCDs, NRCS.

 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Purpose:  To provide technical and financial assistance to landowners to develop and implement conservation plans that address specific natural resource concerns.

Practices: Livestock manure management, grazing land management, soil erosion control, and water quality improvement practices are eligible for financial assistance statewide.

Eligibility: Agricultural producers on agricultural land are eligible. Projects are selected based on environmental benefits.

Contract: Up to 10 year contracts.

Contact: NRCS, SWCDs, FSA.

 

General Non-Point Source Program (Low-Interest Loans)

Eligible Projects (not limited to): restoration of wildlife habitat, stream bank stabilization, urban storm water management, remediation of storage tanks, water conservation and reuse, and wetland flood prevention areas.

Contact: DNR (http://www.iowadnr.com/water/srf/nonpoint.html)

 

Iowa Financial Incentives Cost Share

Purpose: Provide cost-share or financial incentives to private landowners for the implementation of permanent and management soil and water conservation practices in Iowa to control erosion and reduce sediment.

Practices: SWCDs set priorities for practices to fund including terraces, waterways, erosion control structures and other conservation practice applications.

Eligibility: Agricultural producers on agricultural land who are SWCD cooperators are eligible.

Contract: Voluntary agreement with SWCD to install practices with up to 75% cost-share and up to a 20-year maintenance agreement.

Contact: DSCWQ, SWCDs, NRCS.

 

REAP Water Quality Protection Practices

Purpose: Provide cost-share to landowners for practices to protect water quality in Iowa by targeting and preventing off-site sediment, nutrient and livestock waste pollution problems.

Practices: SWCDs set priorities for practices including traditional erosion control practices, tree planting, forestry and native grasses, buffers, steam bank stabilization, urban storm water management, livestock waste management, individual Ag drainage well closure.

Eligibility: Producers on agricultural land who are SWCD cooperators are eligible.

Contract: Voluntary agreement with SWCD to install practices with up to 75% cost-share and up to a 20-year maintenance agreement.

Contact: DSCWQ, SWCDs, NRCS

 

REAP Water Quality Protection Projects

Purpose: Bring landowners and other partners together within a watershed to protect the state’s water resources from point and non-point sources of contamination by targeting and preventing off-site sediment, nutrient and livestock waste pollution problems.

Practices: SWCDs set priorities for practices to fund including terraces, waterways, erosion control structures and other conservation practice applications.

Eligibility: SWCDs

Contract: Funding for conservation practices is administered through contracts with local SWCDs.

Contract: DSCWQ, SWCDs, and NRCS.

 

State Revolving Fund (SRF) Low-Interest Loan Program

Purpose: Make available low-interest loans for a variety of water quality projects in an effort to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides negatively impacting Iowa streams and lakes.

Practices: Terraces, grade stabilization structures, water and sediment control basins, waterway, filter strips, buffers, field borders, windbreaks, erosion control structures, pastures and hay land planting or prescribed grazing, waste storage facilities, deep bedded building or other  roofed manure control structures, urban storm water management, and other conservation practices.

Eligibility: Landowners who are able to secure the loan and capable of repaying the loan; federal guidelines stipulate that loan funds cannot be used for projects in concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFOs).

Contract: Loans with private lenders from $5,000-$500,000 with terms up to 15 years.

Contact: DSCWQ, SWCDs, DNR, NRCS, Private Lenders. Note: DSC funds are administered through local SWCDs.

 

State Watershed Protection Practices

Purpose: Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) funds and Iowa Watershed Protection Program (WSPF) provide cost-share or incentives to address local water quality protection needs.

Practice: Each SWCD sets priorities for practices. Examples include tree plantings, timber stand improvement, windbreaks, land use conversion practices, and traditional erosion control practices.

Eligibility: Landowners who are SWCD cooperators and enter into voluntary agreements with the district to install and maintain approved conservation practices contained in a conservation plan.

Contracts: Up to 75% cost-share and up to a 20-year maintenance agreement.

Contact: DSCWQ, SWCDs. NRCS. Note: DSC funds are administered through local SWCDs.

 

Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB)

Purpose: Award grants to improve water quality in Iowa which may include agricultural runoff and drainage, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff.

Practices: A wide array of water quality improvement practices and activities.

Eligibility: SWCDs, local watershed improvement committees, counties, county conservation board’s public water supply utilities and cities.

Contract: Agreement with WIRB.

Contact: DSCWQ

 

Watershed Protection Program

Purpose: Award “Development Grants” to SWCDs to inventory, assess, and develop implementation strategies for watershed management resulting in efficient and productive expenditure of program funds; award “Implementation Grants” to SWCDs to provide flood control, restore wildlife habitat, and protect water, soil and other natural resources.

Practices: Variety of traditional and innovative conservation practices that provide erosion control, water quality and flood reduction benefits.

Eligibility: SWCDs

Contract: Funding for conservation practices is administered through contracts with local SWCDs.

Contact: DSCWQ, SWCDs, and NRCS.

 

Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)

Purpose: To develop and implement a conservation plan for restoration of wetlands previously altered for agricultural use.

Practices: Wetland restoration and wildlife habitat establishment.

Eligibility: Land that has been owned for seven years and that could be restored to wetland conditions.

Contract: Landowners may restore wetlands with permanent easements, 30-year easements or 10-year contracts. Permanent easements pay 100% of the easement value of the land and 100% cost-share for restoration; 10-year contracts pay 75% cost-share of restoration only. Permanent or 30-year easements are recorded with property easement deeds.

Contact: NRCS, SWCDs, DNR

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)

Purpose: To develop or improve fish and wildlife habitat on privately owned land through the application of a conservation plan.

Practices: Seeding, tree and shrub plantings, fencing, in stream structures, and prairie restoration.

Contract: Usually 5 years to install and maintain the habitat. Financial assistance may be available for restoration costs, to a maximum of $30,000. Other organizations may provide additional financial assistance.

Contact: NRCS, SWCDs, DNR.

Please visit Iowa’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to see more information and other programs available.

Also you can visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.