Wednesday, February 19, 2020

USDA announces investments in Iowa agricultural conservation

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a new suite of initiatives to boost agriculture and land and soil conservation in Iowa, promising consistent additions to the $2.2 billion spent by the USDA within the state since 2009.

“Today, USDA is making a decade-long commitment to Iowa producers and residents to provide coordination, assistance, and greater access to available programming above and beyond what we currently offer,” Vilsack said. “In 2016, we will begin by making available up to 85,000 new acres for rental payments reserved for the most sensitive lands, equivalent to roughly a $175 million investment into the state's land resources. In addition, we will work with state partners to remove barriers and backlogs to other conservation reserve efforts so USDA resources are fully utilized.”

The USDA’s newest conservation efforts in the state will also include an estimated $660 million for technical assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and $250 million in grants over the next 10 years.

“As we make these investments over the next decade, USDA will work collaboratively with producers, state government, land grant institutions and local conservation partners to monitor and report on progress in a consistent, transparent manner," Vilsack said.

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United States Department of Agriculture

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