Farm field gully erosion

A new program is offering funding to install structural practices to help prevent gully erosion.

REGIONAL—Funding assistance is available for N’West Iowa crop producers whose land experienced gully erosion this spring.

Fields that are experiencing gully erosion are eligible for increased payment rates near or exceeding 75 percent cost-share for installing structural practices such as terraces or grassed waterways through a new program called the EQIP Ephemeral Gully Erosion Pilot Project.

Increased payment rates for management practices such as cover crops and no-till farming also are eligible for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, if used in conjunction with structural practices.

Fields classified as “highly erodible” will receive priority in funding.

Payment rates for terraces through this program are $1.69 per foot for narrow-base terraces and $2.06 per foot for broad-base terraces, according to Greg Marek, district conservationist with the Sioux County Soil & Water Conservation District based in Orange City.

Narrow-base terraces typically cost around $1.90 per foot to build and broad-base terraces cost around $2.30 per foot to build bring the actual cost share rates closer to 90 percent cost-share.

These payment rates are higher than have ever been offered for those practices, according to Marek.

“Typically terraces and waterways are cost-shared at a 50 percent cost-share rate, through state cost-share,” he said.

Grassed waterway rates typically should come out to around 75 percent cost-share or greater and can include cost-sharing for tiling if tile is needed to help the waterway function better.

Payments also are available for management practices such as cover crops and no-till.

Payment for no-till is $16.34 per acre and $50.75 per acre for winter hardy cover crops such as cereal rye and $28.10 per acre for winter kill cover crops such as oats.

However, persons signing up for management practices also must agree to do some structural practices.

Up to $5 million is available throughout the state of Iowa for this program.

For more information about the program and to sign up, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Orange City at 712-737-2253 Ext. 3 by June 21.