The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced a new round of H2Ohio open enrollment for producers in the 14 counties of the Maumee River Watershed project area.
“It is as important as ever that Ohio’s agricultural community steps up to the plate to do the right thing,” said Brian Baldridge ODA Director. “We know 2,400 farmers are engaged in H2Ohio, but it takes all of us working together to improve Ohio’s water for generations to come.”
Producers in the following counties are eligible to enroll or re-enroll acreage into proven, science-based, best management practices (BMPs) that contribute toward improving water quality in Lake Erie and other bodies of water: Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams, Wood.
Governor DeWine launched the H2Ohio initiative in 2019 to help offset some of the financial risk producers incur when trying new conservation practices. This year, ODA has streamlined BMPs and updated incentives to better suit producers’ needs to implement conservation practices on their farm operation.
Producers must develop an approved Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan (VNMP) to enroll into other BMPs being offered in 2024 and 2025. Available BMPs include Overwintering Cover, Subsurface Phosphorus Placement, and Manure Incorporation and Utilization.
Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) work directly with each producer to review and approve VNMPs, assess the compatibility of implementing additional BMPs, and provide conservation education.
SWCDs are now hosting informational sessions for producers to learn more and sign up. Producers should contact their local SWCD with questions and submit program applications.