The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering emergency assistance to southern Iowa farmers with grazing systems affected by drought. Funding targets conservation practices that support forage production and livestock watering.

Eligibility will be based on the U.S. Drought Monitor report released on the application signup deadline date. The first application deadline is July 20. If funds remain available, a second application deadline will be August 3.

Producers with land in severe drought conditions will receive priority funding. Portions of Appanoose, Davis, Lee, Monroe, Van Buren, and Wapello Counties are in a severe drought. Producers in 12 other southern Iowa counties in a moderate drought may also apply. Before applying, producers should refer to the U.S. Drought Monitor report to see if their land is in an eligible drought area.

Iowa NRCS is offering $500,000 in Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) financial assistance through this emergency signup. Eligible producers will receive higher-than-normal EQIP payment rates on the following practices:

  • Watering facility
  • Water well
  • Pumping plant
  • Livestock pipeline
  • Cover crops (to be planted on cropland for supplemental livestock feed)
  • Seeding and interseeding (forage and biomass planting)
  • Fence
  • Prescribed grazing
  • Heavy use protection area

Interested producers should visit their local NRCS field office for more information.