Century and Heritage Farms, and cover crops

Century/Heritage Farm Program

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 3, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig reminds eligible farm owners to apply for the 2021 Century and Heritage Farm Program now. The program was created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to recognize families who have owned their farms for 100 years and 150 years, respectively. To be included in the 2021 Century or Heritage Farm Program, completed applications must be received by June 1, 2021.

To apply, download the application on the Department’s website at iowaagriculture.gov/century-and-heritage-farm-program.

Applications may also be requested from Kelley Reece, coordinator of the Century and Heritage Farm Program, at 515-281-3645 or Kelley.Reece@IowaAgriculture.gov. Written requests can be mailed to Century or Heritage Farm Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Henry A. Wallace Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

The ceremonies recognizing the 2021 Century and Heritage Farm families will be held at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 19-20, in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.

Cost Share available for Cover Crops

Cover crops reduce soil erosion by improving the structure and permeability of the soil. They also act as a physical barrier between raindrops and the surface, helping to lock soil in-place during heavy rainfall events. Cover crops are planted annually and can be used to suppress weeds. They can be seeded in the fall using a variety of methods including drilling after crop harvest, broadcasting after crop harvest or aerially broadcasting before harvest. Today, farmers steward over two million acres of cover crops across the state.

“Iowa farmers are continuing to take on the challenge of improving water quality and this program has played an important role in helping farmers get started with a new practice on their farm focused on protecting water quality. We have seen thousands of farmers try cover crops on hundreds of thousands of acres through this program,” Northey said.  “We were excited to have funds available again this year and encourage farmers to contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more and potentially sign up to participate.”

The cost share rate for farmers planting cover crops is $25 per acre ($15 per acre for past cover crop users) and for farmers trying no-till or strip till is $10 per acre.  Farmers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre.

Any farmer not already utilizing these practices will receive priority consideration for this assistance.  Farmers interested in cover crops, but have already used this practice on their farm are also eligible for this funding, but at a reduced rate of $15 per acre. Farmers are only eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres. The funds will be made available in July, but farmers can immediately start submitting applications through their local Soil and Water Conservation District office.

If you would like information about cover crops or to apply for state cost share for seeding cover crops this fall contact Deb Conrad at debra.conrad@ia.nacdnet.net or call 319-668-2359 ext. 3.

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