by Ben Nuelle
Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey requests more money for the Water Quality Initiative and avian influenza response efforts for the 2017 fiscal budget. Northey wants $10 million for water quality which he says is not a big increase from last year.
“We’re asking for a few more dollars on the water quality side. This last year we were funded at $9.6 million. We’ll be asking for $10 million. The same dollars on the water drainage well. $9.2 million is what we had last year. Then a small increase in the cost share program that builds practices and structures. The increase is from $6.75 million to $7.5 million,” Northey said.
Northey appreciates the strong support from the Governor and Legislature for the Water Quality Initiative and is encouraged by a number of conversations identifying sustainable funding for water quality efforts going forward. He said it is important we build on the momentum that has been generated while those conversations continue. Northey also requested $500,000 for avian influenza response efforts.
“For animal health concerns, foreign animal diseases, preparation around disaster planning and coordination the industry and other state agencies. So there are a couple more positions there and some dollars to help us in a situation like we had this year with avian influenza,” Northey said.
The final request was $150,000 from the Technology Reinvestment Fund to begin updating the Iowa Commercial Pesticide License and Certification Database.