Iowa agriculture and forestry producers who are part of the Conservation Stewardship and Conservation Security Program will begin receiving payments this week. The United State Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service administers the program and will issue more than $20 million payments for Iowa farmers who are helping to maintain and improve the natural resources on their land. Here in Marion County 5,221.7 acres of land is contracted through the program which will result in payments totaling $118,626 for this fiscal year. The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary program that encourages producers to address resource concerns by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving and maintaining existing conservation systems. Iowa currently ranks third in the nation for the number of Stewardship contracts and second in the U.S. in dollars obligated in 2010.
The USDA is now accepting applications for the Conservation Stewardship program and those who would like to be considered for the next round of funding must submit their applications, which are available at the NRCS office, by January 7th.