(AMES, IOWA) – Prairie Rivers of Iowa is working with the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices to provide funding for cost-share for conservation practices to farmers in the Squaw Creek Watershed. Funding for this effort is in cooperation with the Water Quality Initiative (WQI) from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and support from local partners.
The Squaw Creek Watershed demonstration project is providing funding for farmers located in the watershed specifically for in-field practices, such as cover crops and no till at the state-wide WQI flat rate cost share rate, as well as fifty-percent cost share for edge of field practices, including saturated buffers.
“The best use of these practices can vary from farm-to-farm and farmer-to-farmer,” said Hanna Bates, Watershed Coordinator for Prairie Rivers of Iowa. “By working with the conservation districts, it is our intent to build relationships with farmers and find what practices will work best for them while having an overall positive impact for the watershed.”
Prairie Rivers of Iowa and the local SWCD offices would like to encourage farmers to continue to submit applications for conservation practices. To get the practices in the ground for the next growing season, farmers should reach out to Prairie Rivers of Iowa and the local SWCD offices by August 1st.
“We would like to encourage farmers who are first timers to simply try out these practices on a few acres of their farm operations,” said Dana Holland, District Conservationist in Story County. “Practices like cover crops have the ability to provide benefits to farm operations by improving soil health and retaining nutrients that the crops can use.”
The Squaw Creek Watershed demonstration project is currently one of several Water Quality Initiative demonstration watershed projects in the State of Iowa. The project takes a collaborative approach to water quality improvements by involving multiple stakeholders to address water impairments. Local partners on the project are: the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority, Story County Board of Supervisors, Boone County Board of Supervisors, Story County Soil and Water Conservation District, Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District, Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, City of Ames, Story County Conservation Board, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Heartland Cooperative, Iowa Agricultural Water Alliance, Technical Service Providers Network, Emmons & Oliver, Iowa State University Bio-Economy Institute, and DuPont/Pioneer.