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Regenerative Agriculture

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Regenerative agriculture

Creating resilient landscapes and improving water quality starts with land stewardship. With nearly 70% of Iowa land in crop production, conservation must be a priority in agricultural policy in order to protect the state’s soils and waterways, and adapt to a changing climate. Regenerative agriculture utilizes a diverse set of practices—such as no-till planting, year-round ground cover and holistic grazing—to actively sequester carbon, rebuild soil and enhance the entire farm ecosystem.

Dependable funding for outreach, technical assistance and infrastructure is needed to scale up the conservation efforts that will help ensure we are passing down healthy and sustainable land to the next generations.

The Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) – which aims to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads leaving the state by 45% by 2035 – is Iowa’s primary policy for sustainable agriculture and water quality. In 2018, the Iowa legislature passed Senate File 512, dedicating $282 million to implement the NRS. While regenerative agriculture practices are on the rise, more are needed in order to achieve the goals of the NRS and ensure farm stability.

  1. Iowa farmers and landowners can access cost-share and loan programs to help make sustainable investments on the land, including:

    - Financial Incentives Program
    - Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP)
    - Water Quality Initiative
    - Conservation Practices Revolving Loan Fund
    - State Revolving Fund

  2. The Iowa Charitable Conservation Contribution Tax Credit is a tool for landowners seeking to protect their land, which provides tax incentives for permanently protecting agricultural and natural land. The tax credit has helped hundreds of landowners implement sustainable land use practices and ensure the long-term health of their land. Learn more about land protection tools at
  3. Iowa loses an average of 5 tons per acre of topsoil each year to erosion. Infield conservation practices such as cover crops, no-till planting, buffer and filter strips provide multiple conservation benefits like building soil health, improving water quality and reducing erosion.

Megaphone graphicIINHF recommends that dependable funding be made available to support long-term adoption of regenerative agriculture practices.