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At the December 1 budget talks, leaders signaled an intent to bring water quality funding in line with that of soil conservation.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey asked for $7.5 million for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in a public meeting with Iowa Governor, Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds at the Iowa Department and Land Stewardship (IDALS) fiscal 2016 and 2017 budget requests.

According to IDALS the request is for funding at the level of support sought for the soil conservation cost share program over the next two years.

The Department received $4.4 million for the current fiscal year for the Water Quality Initiative. Last year’s cost share investment of $9.6 million wash matched by $13 million by Iowa farmers and land owners to support conservation practices.