Money to Reduce Farm Runoff Boosted by $1 Million

The leaves of corn stalks turn upward to collect more water when it comes, on a farm west of Center Point, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 11, 2012. Much of the midwest is in a moderate to severe drought. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Ben Hoppenworth

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State agriculture officials say they are providing $1 million in funds to help farmers reduce runoff of fertilizer and manure from their fields and pastures.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the department has received overwhelming response to a program that shares the cost of installing systems designed to reduce erosion and runoff.

The $1 million announced Thursday brings the total funds for the program allocated to farmers this year to $2.8 million. The department received $3 million in one-time funding to support statewide water quality practices over the next five years.

Practices eligible for funding include cover crops that hold nitrogen in fields and no-till or strip-till practices that reduce erosion.

So far more than 700 Iowa farmers have applied to participate in the program.

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