Cost-share funds in Ohio: Program targets livestock farmers

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COLUMBUS – Livestock farmers in seven designated counties can participate in a new cost-share funding program June 1 that will provide assistance in financing projects that will exclude livestock from creeks, streams and rivers.

Livestock farmers in Adams, Brown, Darke, Highland, Knox, Pike and Scioto counties are eligible to participate in this new pilot program. Livestock farmers interested in obtaining information about the program should contact their local soil and water conservation district offices. Applications for the program will be accepted until July 31.

The program will provide cost-share funds that can be used to install conservation practices, such as fencing, stream crossings and off-stream watering systems. Cost-share funds will cover all of the total installation costs of an individual project, up to the maximum cost-share limits for each of the practices. Total cost-share funds per individual project will not exceed $10,000.

Creating buffers. Participation in the program will require the installation of a buffer area, which will be determined by the water body’s drainage area, alongside the water body from which the livestock are being excluded.

Applicants willing to install more than the required minimum buffer area footage, or plant native trees – such as sycamore, willow or silver maple – along the stream bank, will be given priority rating for consideration of funding. The buffer area must remain in place for a minimum of 10 years.

Grazing, haying, spraying and/or harvesting of the buffer area will not be permitted during this time period.

All conservation practices installed with cost-share funds through this program must meet the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service standards.

Practices must be properly operated and maintained in accordance with an soil and water conservation district approved operation and management plan.

For additional information, livestock farmers interested in the program should contact their local soil and water conservation office: Adams: 937-544-5121, Brown: 937-378-4424, Darke: 937-548-1715, Highland: 937- 393-1922 Knox: 740-392-7806, Pike: 740-947-5353, Scioto: 740-355-0505.

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