The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Agricultural conservation Initiative held the final of the H2Ohio meetings at the Ohio Northern University in Ada this past Friday.
The Ohio Ag Net’s Kolt Buchenroth said that H2Ohio is Governor Mike DeWine’s plan for water quality which touts $30 million in funding for the 14 counties in the western Lake Erie basin.
In the region, those include Hardin, Hancock, Allen and Auglaize Counties.
The plan provides funding for farmers that engage in 10 best management practices, which are voluntary nutrient management plans, variable rate phosphorus application, sub-surface phosphorus placement, manure incorporation, both small grains and forages cover crops, over wintering cover crops, drainage water management, two stage ditch construction and edge of field buffers as well as wetlands.
Hardin County Soil and Water Conservation District Board Chairman Jerry McBride said it’s all good news for producers and for conservation, “As far as Lake Erie goes, we are very fortunate that our governor and our legislators have put forth the possibility, and they say our farmers can do it right. we can do this without regulation, so they have not only said we can do it right, but they put the money behind us to do it right with the voluntary cooperation, and I think that Ohio farmers will buy into it, and we will do things right, and this could be the way conservation in the future comes.”
To start the process of signing up for H2Ohio funding McBride said, “The local producers need to call the Hardin County office and set an appointment. We’ve never set appointments. I’ve been on 27 years, and we’ve never had appointments, but please be patient. Please try to have your papers in line, and we’re going to get through this the best that we possibly can.”