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Pork producers eligible for enhanced water quality funds

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An Iowa organization dedicates additional funding for conservation practices.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) again partners with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to offer funding for pig farmers interested in new nutrient loss reduction strategies. IPPA public policy director Tyler Bettin says additional funds aim to increase the scale of edge-of-field practices.

“We allocated $25,000, to the Department of Agriculture and farmer-led programs, to leverage opportunities and get more edge-of-field practices, being bioreactors and saturated buffers, on the ground to demonstrate their advantages in attempt to move the pace and scale of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and focus on those public and private partnerships that can allow for farmer-led success in this area,” Bettin said.

Proceeds will help offset up to 50% of implementation costs for bioreactors and saturated buffers. IPPA and IDALS will review applications and give preference to sites providing the greatest opportunity for nitrate reduction.

“We’ll continue to review those for opportunities to offset and add additional funding to the state and federal cost-share to demonstrate the positive benefits and recognize these edge-of-field practices are a significant investment to the farmer, but don’t result for much economic value back to the farm,” Bettin said.

Bettin adds Iowa pork producers have spent decades investing in improved environmental management. He further shares why IPPA and its producers feel it important to grow and enhance water quality efforts across Iowa.

“We’ve seen significant efficiency and environmental improvements with today’s barns, containing our manure and recognizing the value of manure being applied in a way that protects our rivers, streams and drinking water. These practices and other opportunities will continue to drive those improvements that we’ve seen for many, many years,” Bettin said.

IPPA encourages farmers interested in the program to submit basic farm information at https://bit.ly/2kjca9b. For additional information, call Tyler Bettin at (800) 372-7675 or Matt Lechtenberg, of IDALS, at (515) 281-3857.