Iowans Introduce Conservation Bills in Washington

As Congress gets closer to introducing a new farm bill, Iowa representatives are attaching legislation that boost conservation programs.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst last month introduced improvements to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) with Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan.

RCPP was introduced in the last farm bill and has been very popular in Iowa. In total nationwide, 2,000 partners have put more than a billion dollars in private funding to help local conservation goals.

The Ernst-Stabenow bill will authorize more funding, to help streamline the program for partners, it'll give flexibility to farmers, and make it easier to extend programs.

Roger Wolf the Director of Environmental Programs at the Iowa Soybean Association has been involved in RCPP talks, he says it's really worked for Iowa, "What's unique about it is it really enables partners. Just as simply, the idea that many hands makes an easier work load. And as everybody knows, in Iowa, we have a nutrient reduction strategy. We're trying to get more conservation practices on farms."

Iowa Congressman David Young has also introduced a water quality improvement act to the House. Wolf says that would create a precision conservation pilot program, which adds in new data technology to help farmers apply conservation more accurately.