On the Radio: Funds for Water Quality Practices


Photo by eutrophication&hypoxia; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers a statewide, monetary incentive program that will help cut down on the pollution caused by field runoff. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Cost-share funds are now available to help farmers curb fertilizer runoff.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Agricultural runoff can be loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus, coming from nutrients in manure and synthetic fertilizers. In excessive quantities they deplete oxygen in streams and together with fecal bacteria, make waterways unfit for recreational use and harmful to aquatic life.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announced that there is money available to help farmers take steps this fall to reduce nutrient losses.

The cost-share rate for farmers planting cover crops is $25 per acre and for farmers trying no-till or strip till is $10 per acre.  Producers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre.

Any farmer not already using these practices may apply, and are eligible for cost share for up to 160 acres. Any one interested may contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to apply.

To learn more about nutrient-reduction practices and the effects of fertilizer runoff, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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