EPA announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will receive a $1 million grant from the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program to support the water quality efforts under way in Iowa.

“This grant is another great example of leveraging state funding for water quality and bringing in significant federal and private dollars to help get even more practices on the ground,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “This EPA fund will help build saturated buffers, bioreactors, wetlands and other practices that have been shown to significantly reduce the nutrients leaving our land.”

The grant funds will be designated to support the construction of 20 saturated buffers, 10 bioreactors, four targeted wetlands, three drainage water recycling systems and two drainage water management systems. These practices are estimated to benefit 2,800 acres and will reduce nitrogen loading by 33-52%, on average, based on values in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy’s science assessment.

Last fall, 2,600 farmers invested an estimated $8.7 million in funding to match $4.8 million in state cost share funds to adopt cover crops, no-till or strip till, or use a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Participants include 1,000 farmers using a practice for the first time and more than 1,600 past users who are trying cover crops again and are receiving a reduced rate of cost share.