Idaho Soil and Water
322 E Front Street, Suite 560
Boise, ID, 83702
Phone: 208.332.1790
Fax: 208.332.1799

Frequently Asked Questions about the commission's low-interest loan program

What is the purpose of the loan program?

To provide long-term, low-interest loans to farmers, ranchers, and landowners to install conservation measures on private land.

When was the loan program started?

The Idaho Legislature created the loan program in 1985. The loan program has a dedicated revolving fund of approximately $10 million.

What kind of projects are eligible for low-interest loans?

Eligible projects include:

  • Irrigation equipment
  • No-till drills
  • Animal feeding operation improvements
  • Livestock fencing
  • Stream bank protection and improving riparian areas for multiple use.
  • Enhancing soil and water resources
  • Conserving and improving fish and wildlife habitat
  • Stream bank protection

How much money is available to landowners through the loan program and how low are the interest rates?

A single loan is limited to $200,000. A borrower is limited to $300,000 in total loans. Interest rates vary from 2.5% to 6% depending on the number of years selected to repay the loan and the type of collateral offered to secure the loan. The maximum term offered is 15 years.

What is typically used as collateral for the loans?

Preferably new equipment or first mortgage on real estate. We may accept used equipment or a second mortgage , subject to some restrictions. Title insurance, at borrower's expense, is required with all mortgages.

Does the conservation project have to be located on private lands or could it be located on public lands, too?

Projects on private and most public land are eligible for RCRDP funding.

Are loans available to pay off a conservation project that's already in place?

No.

Are loans available to refinance the debt of an existing conservation project?

No.

Would a project to improve water efficiency and convert to sprinkler irrigation qualify for loan funds?

Both water efficiency and irrigation system conversion projects are eligible for funding.

How do I get started on a loan application?

Contact Terry Hoebelheinrich or Cheryl Wilson at 208-332-1790 to discuss your project. They'll guide you through the steps required for an application.

Do I need a conservation plan in place for my property prior to applying for a loan?

Yes. See our page on creating a conservation plan for your property.

Do I need to work with my local conservation district before submitting an application?

Yes. The district's board must review and prioritize your application before it is submitted to the Commission for review. To find out which conservation district is located closest to you, click here.

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