Producers in the 10-county expansion area of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative are eligible to apply for the next phase of the program, which expands the available conservation practices.
Producers were initially able to sign up for three Best Management Practices (BMP) — voluntary nutrient management plan (VNMP), overwintering cover crops and conservation crop rotation for small grains. They are now eligible to sign up for the remaining H2Ohio BMPs — VNMP implementation, variable-rate phosphorus fertilization, subsurface nutrient placement, manure incorporation, conservation crop rotation for forages, and drainage water management structures.
Producer agreements for this phase of the H2Ohio program will include commitments for 2023, 2024, and 2025. Producers must have an approved VNMP on file with their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to be eligible to sign up for more practices. Applications with approved VNMPs are due to local SWCD offices by April 30.
Approximately 800 producers in the expansion area enrolled more than 600,000 acres of cropland into the H2Ohio program last fall. This represents more than 38% of the cropland in the project area in Crawford, Erie, Huron, Marion, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, and Wyandot counties.
H2Ohio is Governor DeWine’s initiative to ensure safe and clean water in Ohio. It is a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving water quality over the long term. H2Ohio focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring wetlands, and replacing home septic systems to reduce nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms. For more information on the H2Ohio initiative, please visit h2.ohio.gov.
Producers should contact their local SWCD for more information and to submit applications.