Farm Policy News

Iowa bill to boost state sales tax would help with conservation

DES MOINES, IOWA— Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is trying to build support for a 1-cent sales-tax increase that would help fund conservation programs. It's a tough sell in the Legislature, but some groups are throwing their support behind the plan.

A portion of the tax hike would fulfill a 2010 constitutional amendment to the Iowa Water and Land Legacy trust fund. No money has been added to the fund since it was created, leaving rural areas to struggle with the effects of climate change.

‘Reclaiming Resilience’ at farming conference in Ames

We all want to be better stewards of the land. A great place to start is by forming new relationships with local farmers and partners at gatherings and conferences.

Annually, the Center for Rural Affairs staff attends the Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) conference. This year’s conference focused on “Reclaiming Resilience” and was in Ames, Iowa, from Jan. 16 to 18, 2020.

President’s budget proposals would hurt rural America

Details on President Trump’s 2021 budget plan were released recently and, as it has in the past, this administration continues to put forth proposals that undercut rural communities.

Among the proposed cuts we strongly oppose are those to the Conservation Stewardship Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and authorized by the farm bill. This program offers invaluable support for farmers and ranchers to build on their existing conservation efforts and the cuts would block an important path they rely on to improve their soil health and water quality.

Conservation enrollment open

For farmers and ranchers interested in expanding conservation on their operations, two of the nation’s largest working lands programs—the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)—are open for applications. 

CSP and EQIP offer financial assistance to implement conservation practices, with EQIP offering support for individual practices and CSP providing support for a planned set of practices. CSP participants are required to demonstrate existing conservation efforts to enroll, while EQIP participants are not.

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