The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based framework to assess and reduce nutrients to Iowa waters and the Gulf of Mexico. It identifies practices that farmers can implement to lower the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus running off of their farmland.
In order to make the best decisions about how to use these practices on their land, farmers need to know the costs associated with each practice. The Nutrient Reduction Strategy Decision Support Tool was created to provide farmers with a straight-forward cost analysis of various Nutrient Reduction Strategy practices, so that they can make more informed budgeting decisions.
The tool estimates the amount and timing of costs associated with each practice and includes information on the availability of government cost-share programs for each practice.
Please note that the direct and indirect cost of any Best Management Practice can vary considerably from site to site and are largely contingent on: initial conditions, hydrology, soils, cropping system, practice design, management characteristics and experienced opportunity costs (which can be highly variable). The costs presented here are simply baseline numbers and are meant to be informative rather than prescriptive.
Current plans for the future of the support tool
- Improve ease of use
- Fix bugs and errors
- Improve cost information
- Create web-based practice calculators
Current release status
The current release status is beta. Your feedback on estimated costs, bugs/errors, and ease of use are very important in helping the project improve. Please contact John Tyndall, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this BMP cost assessment tool!
This cost tool updates and expands upon Christianson et al. (2013) and utilizes standardized discounted cash flow techniques relevant to water quality oriented agricultural Best Management Practices. For a more detailed overview of these methods please see:
Christianson L, Tyndall JC, Helmers M. (2013) Financial Comparison of Seven Nitrate Reduction Strategies for Midwestern Agricultural Drainage. Water Resources & Economics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wre.2013.09.001
Tyndall JC, Roesch G. (2014) A Standardized Approach to the Financial Analysis of Structural Water Quality BMPs. Journal of Extension. Vol. 52, Num. 3, 3FEA10.
Costs Covered in the Tool
Costs for the following practices are covered in the current version of the tool:
Detailed Cost Sheet (pdf)
NRCS or Farm Service Agency 2016 - Cost Share info (pdf)
Edge of Field
Note: there are a number of different wetland programs that may be relevant in your situation.
|Riparian Forest Buffer
|Vegetative Filter Strip (riparian)
|2016 Cost Sheet for Vegetative Filter Strip
|FSA Practice CP 21 Filter Strip
|Saturated buffers (riparian)
|2016 Cost Sheet for Saturated Buffer
|Saturated Buffers in Iowa Watersheds
|Drainage management (Controlled drainage)
|2016 Cost Sheet for Drainage Water Management (Controlled drainage)
|Drainage management (Shallow drainage)
|2016 Cost Sheet for Drainage Water Management (Shallow drainage)
Land Use Change
|2016 Cost Sheet for Prairie Strips
|FSA Practice CP 15A Contour Grass Strips
Cover crops (Winter rye)
|2016 Cost Sheet for Cereal Rye Cover Crop
|NRCS EQIP Cover Crops - Practice Code 340
|Herbaceous Biomass (switchgrass)
|Living mulch (Kura clover)