Three recipients in Iowa will receive water quality funding
The U.S. EPA announced $3.15 million in water quality funding in Iowa. According to an EPA news release, three EPA Farmer to Farmer Cooperative Agreements total more than $3.15 million in funding to improve water quality, habitat and environmental education.
The three recipients for the agreements are: Practical Farmers of Iowa, University of Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. According to Feedstuffs, Practical Farmers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is equipping farms to build resilient farms and communities.
Practical Farmers of Iowa will receive $936,000 to fund its project, “Roots for Water Quality: A Farmer-to-Farmer Model for a Sustainable Mississippi Basin.” The project aims to equip farmers with tools to help with the implementation of cover crops by shifting mainstream agriculture’s tone, doubling the amount of cover crop champions, and measuring a 5% improvement in water quality, according to Feedstuffs.
“These Farmer to Farmer grants will promote innovative, market-based solutions for monitoring and improving water quality throughout the Gulf of Mexico watershed,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These grants are an important part of our efforts to support America’s farmers in a manner that strengthens both American agriculture and the protection of our nation’s vital water resources.”
The University of Iowa will receive $1,064,926 for its project, “Connecting Rural and Peri-Urban Farmers to Demonstrate and Disseminate Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Practices,” and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will receive $1,150,000 for its project, “Effective, Targeted Wetland Installations to Maximize Nutrient Removal, Wetland Habitat Function, and Ultimately Expand Delivery,” according to the EPA.
“Practical Farmers of Iowa is ready to increase the use of cover crops in Iowa to tackle our water quality issues,” said Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa strategic initiatives director, according to Feedstuffs. “Through farmer-to-farmer learning, [Practical Farmers of Iowa] has proven that cover crops are an essential tool of the agronomic toolbox to manage weeds and reduce soil erosion while improving water quality in a corn and soybean rotation. This EPA funding will allow [Practical Farmers of Iowa] to create new tools, like a ‘ride-sharing’ app for farmers. Instead of looking for a ride, farmers will be able to use the app to find qualified cover crop applicators during the busy harvest season.”