Recently, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that the Sioux County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) will be receiving another grant that will help the program expand the water quality improvement (WQI) projects happening in the Floyd River watershed. This grant will help them expand conservation practices on the West Branch of the Floyd River. The grant will be for $872,700 and distributed over the next three years.
Farmers and landowners have planted 13, 259 acres of cover crops, added more than 168,000 feet of terraces and installed one bioreactor and two saturated bufferers since the WQI project began in 2014.
“Improving water quality is one of the most important issues we’re facing today,” said Secretary Naig. “These community-based projects are examples of the impact we can make when public and private partners and landowners work together to put conservation practices on the ground."
The Water Quality Initiative (WQI) was established in the 2013 legislative session to help execute Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). Iowa's NRS is to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses to water with an integrated approach.
The WQI combines public and private resources and organizations to rally around the NRS and add proven conservations practices in a reasonable and cost-effective way. It also cost-shares funds to help farmers and producers install these conservation practices around the state of Iowa.
"In 2019, more than 2,900 farmers participated in the program and invested an estimated $10.2 million in funding to match $6.1 million through the state’s WQI cost share fund. Participants included 1,200 farmers using a conservation practice for the first time and more than 1,700 farmers continuing their conservation practices."
To read the full article from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, click here.