Des Moines River

Securing long-term funding for water quality programs remains a high priority for Iowa farm groups, but in light of the state’s nearly 100 million dollar budget shortfall, that task may be a bit more challenging.

Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill says – for now – his organization is not promoting any specific solutions to water funding. “We’re leaving it open to our legislative leaders to find a way, a pathway, to add this long-term, dedicated funding stream that will provide us the confidence we can invest and have a commitment from the state,” Hill says.

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is also taking a more general approach, according to ISA president Roland Schnell of Newton. “We came out last year in support of the governor’s plan, and we’ve been supportive of the ‘I WILL’ three-eighth of a cent plan,” Schnell says. “But we’re really not nailing down anything specific, because we want to make sure the people understand that we’re supportive of anything that will provide us with long-term funding.”

Schnell says everything that happens in the 2017 Iowa legislature will take place with state budget constraints as the backdrop.

Reporting by Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News