Signed in 2018, Ohio Senate Bill 299 provided $23.5 million for soil and water conservation districts located in the Western Lake Erie Basin for nutrient management programs.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is working to distribute funds to the districts, focusing on three major programs unique to Ohio:

  • The Ohio Working Lands Program will encourage producers to establish year-round vegetative cover on eligible cropland. The program will promote the conversion, establishment and maintenance of forage/hay land on certain cropland acres. Also, there will be a new incentive payment to encourage producers to re-enroll acreage through the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. This will help reach the 67,000 acreage goal and increase conservation efforts.
  • The Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan Development Program will be a partnership with the Ohio Agribusiness Association, in which financial incentives are offered for nutrient management plans. This would help to ensure the 4R principles are put into place.
  • The Cost Share and Equipment Buy Down Program will provide producers with funds to purchase technological improvements to agricultural land, equipment and structures to reduce nutrient loss.

Credit: Ohio Department of Agriculture

 

Credit: Ohio Department of Agriculture