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For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
or Dustin.VandeHoef@IowaAgriculture.gov

 
 

 

NORTHEY THANKS LEGISLATURE FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF WATER QUALITY AND SOIL CONSERVATION EFFORTS
$7.9 million approved for Water Quality Initiative and $14.4 million for other conservation programs

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today thanked the Iowa Legislature for their continued support for a voluntary, science-based approach to improving water quality.  The Legislature has passed a total of $22.3 million to support water quality and conservation efforts.

“I appreciate the legislature stepping up to continue funding voluntary, science-based water quality efforts in Iowa.  This funding would help us continue our efforts in targeted watersheds as well as provide funds to help farmers try new water quality practices statewide,” Northey said. “The Governor and Lt. Gov. have been strong supporters of the Water Quality Initiative from the beginning and I hope they will approve this funding.”

The Legislature approved $4.4 million in ongoing funding and $3.5 million in one-time funding specifically for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.  These funds will allow the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to continue to encourage the broad adoption of water quality practices through statewide cost share assistance as well as more intensive work in targeted watersheds.  The legislation also gave the Department the authority to provide cost share assistance for urban conservation projects.

The legislature also provided $5 million in one-time funding to help address the backlog of state soil conservation cost-share projects.  This is in addition to the annual appropriation of $6.7 million.  All funds are matched by the landowner to support construction.

The legislature provided $1.2 million to support the closure of eight additional agriculture drainage wells and $1.5 million to the Watershed Improvement Review Board. 

Additionally, $1.3 million was appropriated to the nutrient management research center at Iowa State University to support ongoing research on practices farmers can use to reduce nutrient losses.

 

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