It’s called The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Mike Naig, Iowa’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, says the report documents $420 million in public and private funding support for water quality improvements.
“A big chunk of that would be associated with CRP (Conservation Reserve Program), but that is a program that does impact water quality in a positive way and so we measure that,” Naig says. “That funding level is an increase of 32 million over last year.”
Naig says he’s also seeing a boost in private investment in water quality programs. He says the report includes data from extensive water monitoring. It also identifies and quantifies the practices farmers are using to achieve a 45percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus runoff.
“One would be things like CRP or perennially seeded grass cover on acres,” Naig says. “Two would be edge of field practices, things like wetlands, bioreactors, saturated buffers, and the third grouping would be management practices, things farmers and landowners do on their land like switching to no-till or using a cover crop.”
Naig says the “logic model” framework also recognizes there is a need for more help, including funding, staff and resources. “We certainly want to accelerate our efforts to implement practices in the state and we’re hopeful we’ll have additional dollars that will come into the program as we head into the legislative session,” Naig says. “I think we’re poised for a tremendous expansion here over the next several years.”
The report was compiled by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)