State Cost Share Programs


The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) receives appropriations from the legislature, and each Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) receives its allocation of funding for voluntary cost share programs at the beginning of the state fiscal year (July 1). The SWCD may also receive supplemental funding at other times during the year.

The Madison County SWCD takes applications requesting cost share for soil and water conservation practices from landowners and producers on an ongoing basis. Field office staff are responsible for conservation planning, developing cost estimates, and ranking applications. Cost share funding is obligated to projects if approved by the SWCD Commissioners (when funding is available).

The main state-funded cost share programs used are the Iowa Financial Incentive Program (IFIP), the Resource Enhancement And Protection (REAP) program, and the state’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI). Other cost share opportunities may be available depending on the practice and your location (for example, watershed project funding).

Click here to learn about Financial Assistance for Conservation Practices provided by the state.

There may also be financial assistance available through the State Revolving Fund (SRF), which provides Low-Interest Loans for Soil Erosion and Manure Management Practices.

Learn more information about the SRF Local Water Protection Program here.

Soil Erosion Control

State cost share provides financial incentives to private landowners to implement conservation practices to control soil erosion on agricultural land. Unless otherwise noted, cost share is limited to 50% or 75% of the actual (eligible) or estimated cost of practice installation, whichever is less.

Soil Erosion Control practices that may be eligible for financial assistance through IFIP or REAP include:

  • Terraces
  • Water and Sediment Control Basins
  • Grade Stabilization Structures
  • Grassed Waterways
  • Pasture & Hayland Planting
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Field Borders
  • Filter Strips
  • Conservation Cover
  • Field Windbreak
  • Tree Planting

Forestry/Native Grasses and Water Protection

Since 1990 the IDALS-Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality has received funding for the Soil and Water Enhancement Account through Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program, which are distributed to SWCDs, which provide financial incentives to private landowners to implement conservation practices for water quality protection efforts.

REAP Forestry/Native Grasses (F/NG) funds are used to support practices to promote the installation of woodlands, native grasses and forbs. REAP Practices (P) funds are used to support water protection practices.

Click to Learn More About REAP

REAP-F/NG may provide cost share for practices including:

  • Conservation Cover *
  • Farmstead and Field * Windbreaks
  • Tree Planting *
  • Forest Stand Improvement
  • Site Preparation for Natural Regeneration
  • Rescue Treatment
  • Riparian Forest Buffer
  • Prescribed Grazing
  • Fencing Systems

REAP-P may provide cost share for practices including:

  • Critical Area Planting *
  • Field Borders *
  • Filter Strips *
  • Pasture & Hayland Planting *
  • Contour Buffer Strips
  • Access Control
  • Restored or Constructed Wetlands
  • Streambank & Shoreline Protection

*These practices are listed on the Soil Erosion Control application form.

Stormwater BMPs

REAP Practices (P) funds are used to support water protection practices which may include approved storm-water best management practices such as:

  • Soil Quality Restoration
  • Native Landscaping
  • Permeable Pavement
  • Rain Garden
  • Detention Basins
  • Detention Ponds
  • Wetlands
  • Others (see application form for full list)

Click to Learn More About REAP

Click to visit the Rainscaping Iowa Website

Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI)

Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) was established during the 2013 legislative session to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). The NRS provides a road map to achieve a 45% reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses to our waters using an integrated approach that includes point and non-point sources working together. The WQI seeks to harness the collective ability of both private and public resources and organizations to rally around the NRS and to support Iowans as they implement practices to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.

More information about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy can be found here.

WQI provides statewide funding for these practices:

  • Cover Crops
  • Nitrification Inhibitor (first time users only)
  • No-Till or Strip-Till (first time users only)

Click to Learn More about Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative

Click to Read the 2020 Annual Report on Iowa WQI