On Thursday Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey requested $2.4 million for an agriculture water quality initiative as part of the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s fiscal year 2014 budget request. The initiative also proposes an additional $4.4 million in funding for water quality practices in FY 2015.
“The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and this agriculture water quality initiative will help keep Iowa as a national leader in improving water quality,” Secretary Northey said in defense of the request.
The Department’s agriculture water quality initiative request for FY 2014 would provide $150,000 for staffing, $575,000 for marketing and outreach and $1,675,000 for water quality initiative cost share.
The Department requested a status quo budget aside from the water quality initiative that covers negotiated increases in personnel and benefit costs for employees. Secretary Northey also requested that funding for the agriculture drainage well closure program be maintained, which would bring the total number of closed wells to 262.