NRCS Announces 3 New Iowa RCCP Projects, April 8 Application Signup
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing three new project areas in which Iowa farmers can apply for conservation assistance through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
Through RCPP, NRCS co-invests with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to resource concerns.
NRCS accepts program applications on a continuous basis but sets dates to batch and rank applications as funding allows. Interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by April 8, 2022, to be considered for fiscal year 2022 RCPP funding.
Three New RCPP Projects
- The SE Iowa Watershed Partnership, composed of 20 partner organizations, will accelerate adoption of nutrient management and mitigation practices and systems in 15 southeast Iowa counties.
- Led by the City of Cedar Rapids, the Cedar River Source Water Partnership is a collaboration among communities and agricultural partners to improve water quality, mitigate the risk of flooding, and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Farmers in the Cedar River Watershed are eligible to apply.
- In the Floyd River Water Quality Partnership, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) will address water quality by helping farmers plant cover crops and implement nutrient management practices. Coordinated on-farm partnerships with input suppliers, farmers, and the livestock industry will deliver grazing and edge-of-field practice demonstrations. Farmers in the Floyd River Watershed are eligible to apply.
Sign-up for Existing RCPP Projects
In September, NRCS announced three new 2021 RCPP projects and one renewed project with available funding. Farmers in these RCPP project areas still have time to apply for conservation funding:
- Through the North Raccoon Partnership for Soil and Water Outcomes Project, the Iowa Soybean Association, in collaboration with ag retailers, Federal and State agencies, and the City of Des Moines, is taking a watershed approach to improving soil health and water quality in a high-profile watershed located from northwest to central Iowa. Targeted practices include no-till, cover crops, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, and wetland restoration.
- Through the Turkey River Watershed Project, IDALS is delivering a comprehensive outreach, planning, and implementation approach to spur the long-term adoption of management and structural practices to reduce water quality degradation in the Turkey River Watershed. Project partners estimate that producer efforts will reduce almost 400,000 pounds of nitrogen and over 11,000 pounds of nitrogen out of local waterways.
- The Iowa Systems Approach to Conservation Drainage project brings together a diverse partnership, including PepsiCo, Heartland Co-op, the Nature Conservancy and Nutrien Ag Solutions, to demonstrate a systems approach to improved farm profitability and sustainability on some of the most intensely farmed land in Iowa. The project aims to help producers plant nearly 150,000 acres of cover crops and install 50 denitrifying bioreactors and saturated wetlands, among other water quality, flood control and source water protection practices.
- The Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership Project is a renewal project co-led by IDALS and the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA). It assembles 47 partners to build an innovative public-private collaboration to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality, soil health, and habitat for at-risk species. The project targets several high-priority watersheds throughout Iowa.
NRCS is also announcing an April 8, 2022, application batching date for four existing 2014 Farm Bill RCPP projects funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Projects include:
- Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership
- Fox River Water Quality Project
- Innovative Conservation Agriculture
- Driftless Area Habitat for the Wild & Rare Phase 2
For project fact sheets and maps to determinate eligibility, visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/