Heavy rains caused flooding that swamped many Iowa corn and soybean fields this spring and summer.

Farmers may be able to turn their trouble spots into opportunities through the Conservation Reserve Program.

Amanda DeJong is the executive director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Iowa.

“We have a continuous CRP sign-up going on,” DeJong says. “It’ll give farmers an opportunity to find solutions if they have problem areas in their fields. They can target key water quality conservation practices, things like wetlands restoration, farmable wetlands, grass waterways, buffer strips, filter strips.”

The CRP practices also offer farmers a wider planting window on remaining areas of their fields, though DeJong says the deadline to sign up is less than a month off now.

“All offers need to be in to our office by August 17th but because there are several steps in a CRP contract, both with us and with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, we’re asking folks to get in earlier if they can, maybe by August 1st.”

The deadline to sign up is tied to the Farm Bill, which is set to expire this fall on September 30th. DeJong urges farmers to consider their options.

“Our folks can work with them and NRCS staff will work with them, too, to help identify what the right practice is for their specific situation,” she says, “whatever the resource concern is, we can work with them to get that addressed.”

Find your nearest FSA office at offices.usda.gov.

(Thanks to Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)