H2Ohio enrollment now open

corn soybeans waterway conservation
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced on Sept. 8 a new round of H2Ohio open enrollment for producers in the 14 counties of the Maumee River Watershed project area.

Producers in the following counties are eligible to enroll or re-enroll acreage into proven, science-based, best management practices 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 and Wood.

Gov. Mike DeWine launched the H2Ohio initiative in 2019 to help offset some of the financial risk producers incur when trying new conservation practices. H2Ohio focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring wetlands and replacing home septic systems to reduce nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms.

This year, ODA streamlined BMPs and updated incentives to better suit producers’ needs to implement conservation practices on their farm operations. Producers must develop an approved voluntary nutrient management plan 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 work directly with each producer to review and approve voluntary nutrient management plans, 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.

For more information on the H2Ohio initiative, visit h2.ohio.gov.


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