West Branch Floyd River


Greetings! Thank you for visiting our Watershed Project page. We will continue to update this page with the latest information as it becomes available, so be sure to check back frequently to stay informed and up to date. 
The West Branch of the Floyd River Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Project was established in 2013 to assist farmers in protecting their soil and improving water quality both locally and downstream. The Project is part of a greater statewide effort to reduce the amount of Nitrogen and Phosphorus entering into surface and ground water by 45 percent. In-field and edge-of-field management of nutrients is the key, and luckily we have plenty of practices to apply on the land to help us achieve our goals. To learn more about these practices, please go back to the home page, hover your mouse over "Practices" and click "Cropland". 
Our WQI Project provides financial assistance from the State and has also successfully secured federal funds in the form of MRBI (Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative) and RCPP (Regional Conservation Partnership Program) to help farmers mitigate risk when adopting practices that are new to them. We do a lot more than just provide cost-share, however. Technical assistance, program navigation, and farmer-to-farmer networking are all services we provide. Building and maintaining partnerships with trusted private companies and non-governmental organizations helps us to better serve our customers and gain an understanding of other perspectives. We do our best to understand farmers' priorities, time and workload limitations, and the overall farming operation, so that we can recommend practices that will have a high level of success.
You might be asking, "How does the SWCD working with a private company benefit the farmer?" In many cases, we all have the same end goal: help the farmer improve his bottom line without negatively impacting the environment we live in. We are often out of sync, though, and don't pull on the same rope at the same time. Regularly communicating with the local co-ops so they know seeding rates and deadlines for cover crop establishment, and asking the Iowa Soybean Association if there are on-farm strip trial assistance opportunities are just a couple examples of ways we work with our partners. At the end of the day, it comes down to checking in more often, better communication, and finding opportunities in a timely manner to get the farmer the information they need when they need it. Partnerships can often lead to additional financial opportunities as well.
Through these partnerships and the tremendous efforts of local farmers, we are steadily building a culture of conservation here. A place where a farmer is not only proud of their yield but of their cover crops holding the soil in place and scavenging nutrients. Year after year, more farmers are applying cover crops and no-till. We have also built the county's first saturated buffers and bioreactors over the past few years, and we look to expand upon this success in the very near future. Give us a call to see how we can work together to improve your operation. 712-737-2253 EXT. 3

WQI cost-share funds are available for terraces and the following management practices with in the watershed (see map at right to view that area):

  • No-till incentive - $10/acre with an acre limit of 200 acres.
  • Low disturbance manure injection - $10/acre with an acre limit of 200 acres.
  • Cover crops - $25/acre with an acre limit of 160 acres.