June 20, 2024

Get paid for cover crops, no-till, and strip till

We believe trying cover crops for the first time shouldn’t be expensive or risky. And finding the right payment program to help with costs shouldn’t take hours or days.

That’s why we created a comparison guide to help you learn about some of the programs available in Iowa. There are millions of dollars available to help farmers pay for the cost of seed and application, and even mitigate the risk of yield drags. It’s best to choose the program that’s right for you!

The guide is currently best viewed on a desktop while a new website is under construction.


*While IAWA takes great care to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information possible, it is impossible for IAWA to capture every important program detail or update as frequently as programs change. IAWA is not responsible for accuracy or totality of program details. IAWA also does not administer these programs. Check with each program provider for all details and disclaimers.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the cost share comparison guide?

It’s an Iowa-focused tool for learning about and comparing payment programs for cover crops, no-till, and reduced till. We think its unique strength is that it cuts through jargon and confusing terms so farmers and landowners can compare apples to apples.

Does this include every program available?

No, there are millions of dollars available through dozens of programs nationwide. These are a handful of the programs that IAWA is familiar with that span at least 25 counties, and are led or supported by a nonprofit or public funding. IAWA does hope to expand the guide in the future.

How do I use the cost share comparison guide?

Use this tool to save time when comparing programs. It will help you zero in on one or two programs that may be right for you. But don’t use this guide as a final answer to your needs. You will want to contact the program to get more details and confirm eligibility. There are also many more programs not listed here.

How often is the guide updated?

The guide will be updated at least once per year. The date of the last update will be visible on the guide.

From farmers and landowners about transparency

How was the guide’s information compiled and why should I trust it?

IAWA met with farmer-facing staff for each program to learn how it works. IAWA then boiled that information down to what we thought you would want to know most. Finally, we confirmed information with program leadership or communications departments.

While we take great care to provide the most accurate information, it is impossible for IAWA to capture every important program detail, so we encourage you to reach out to the programs you are most interested in.

Do program leaders pay to be on the guide?

No, this tool is not funded by any of the programs listed. We do this to make sure that all information is displayed as consistently as possible.

Who is IAWA and why did you make this guide?

IAWA is a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the pace and scale of farmer-led conservation. Empowering farmers to use incentives to mitigate the cost and risks of conservation practices is a step toward our mission and getting more water quality practices on the ground.

IAWA is often a bridge between folks in public and private, urban and rural, in-the-field and behind-the-desk roles. This puts us in a unique position to ask program questions and provide information that is accurate and as thorough as possible.

Does IAWA have a connection to any of the guide’s programs?

IAWA is a partner in Iowa outreach for Farmers for Soil Health and several RCPP projects. IAWA does not administer programs, provide technical assistance, or recruit farmers. Our main roles are securing project funding and providing communications and outreach to farmers, landowners, and partners.

From ag/conservation professionals about how to use the guide

Can I get a printed copy?

We plan to keep the guide digital because it will change often. However, the PDF was created to be printed in small quantities on 17×11 inch ledger paper. When printing, use the following recommendations:

  • Under properties, select “ledger” for paper size.
  • Under page size and handling, select “fit.”
  • Select “Print on both sides of paper” and “Flip on short edge”

Can I get notified when the guide is updated?

Yes, please fill out this form to sign up for our mailing list.

From program leaders who want to be included in the guide

What programs are eligible to be included in the guide?

Payment programs must:

  • Include resources for in-field practices that improve water quality
  • Span at least 25 Iowa counties
  • Be led or supported by a nonprofit or public funding. (However, we are collecting private program information for future phases, so please reach out if interested)

Program representatives must:

  • Provide a farmer-facing staff member for an IAWA interview (to discuss program specifics)
  • Confirm or update information once per year. IAWA will reach out to a designated contact for updates. If we can’t confirm/update, we’ll have to remove the program so farmers have the most up-to-date info!
  • How do I request a spot on the guide?

New programs will be added during two time periods: April-May and Nov-Jan.

Please fill out our inquiry form, and we will contact you with the next steps.

How do I update our program information?

During April-May and Nov-Jan, IAWA will be working on updates. We will reach out to your designated contact then.

From those interested in supporting IAWA’s work

How can I support IAWA?

If you are a business, non-profit, or other entity who wants to get involved through partnerships or donations, please fill out our contact form to learn more.

How can I provide feedback for this guide?

We would love to hear how this guide helped you or how it could be improved. Please fill out our contact form with your feedback.