Review of Maintenance of Federally Assisted Conservation Structures and Measures in Iowa

CED-77-63: Published: May 17, 1977. Publicly Released: May 17, 1977.

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Some conservation measures and structures installed with federal cost-sharing assistance under the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Conservation Program have been eliminated by the original or subsequent owners of the farm properties.

Visits to about 165 farms in Iowa showed that some conservation practices had been eliminated or modified, but there did not appear to be a serious problem. A sample of farms that had benefited from federal cost-sharing assistance in recent years for vegetative cover, liming, sod waterways, or terraces, including nearly all the farm units that had been sold to a new owner or operator after the specified practice was sold, was visited. Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) regulations require that a sample of at least 5 percent of the conservation practices funded in the current year are to be reviewed to establish whether they have been installed and maintained. The regulations also require that, when such reviews are made, all previous cost-shared practices on the farm are to be checked to see that they are being properly maintained. Review of the files at the ASCS offices in three Iowa counties showed that the files in two counties did not identify any maintenance problems with the conservation practices reviewed, while three cases where collection action is being considered because vegetative cover was not maintained were pending in the third county.

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