The money to pay landowners comes from the U.S.D.A. Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Iowa property owners in the flood zone may apply to permanently turn the land over to the federal government for a “conversation easement.” The easements will be restored to the natural flood plain.
The buy-outs are available for public or private farmland as well as residential properties damaged by flooding. Applications may be submitted at Natural Resources Conservation Service field offices through October 18.