Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announced that 117 Iowa farmers took advantage of changes this year to the Iowa Financial Incentives Program, which is commonly called state cost share, to install 4,660 acres of cover crops across the state.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship made the rule change in August that included cover crops as an eligible practice under the state cost share program.

Through the program Iowa provided up to $25 per acre for the establishment of the cover crop. In total the Department's $104,253 investment was matched by farmers and landowners in 24 different Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state.

Research has shown that cover crops can be an effective management tool to control erosion from wind and water and ties up the nitrogen in the soil and reduces the potential for nitrate to leach into our surface water and groundwater.