Federal support to help reduce phosphorous loading into Lake Erie will enable Ohio farmers to put conservation to work on their land. More than $2.5 million is available to agricultural producers and landowners to improve and protect the waters and resources in portions of the Great Lakes Basin.
Applications to install specific conservation practices through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will be accepted for priority ranking through July 1. Interested landowners should contact their local USDA Natural resources Conservation Service office well before the deadline to apply.
Funding provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program will be directed at reducing phosphorus loading in specific watersheds in Ohio. The Maumee River (Upper Blanchard) Watershed is the Ohio priority watershed, which includes portions of: Allen, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Seneca, and Wyandot Counties.
NRCS specialists provide farmers with technical assistance to help determine the best conservation practices to improve and protect the resources on their land.
"The GLRI is a multi-agency group working together to improve and protect the waters of the Great Lakes Basin," says Michelle Lohstroh, acting state conservationist for NRCS. "NRCS is proud to be able to work with farmers and landowners on private lands who are doing their part to improve the resources."
This year, GLRI focuses on practices that have the highest benefit for reducing water quality degradation due to agricultural runoff. Examples of these practices include waste storage facilities, residue management, no-till, nutrient management, tree planting, wetland creation, and drainage water management, among others.
"The farmers and landowners who come to us for help are really the ones that deserve the credit," says Lohstroh. "We provide them with information on the scientifically-proven practices and where best to use them, as well as funding to help pay for them, but it's their land and they make the decisions."
Since 1935, NRCS nationwide conservation delivery system works with private landowners to put conservation on the ground based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating State and national interests. To learn more about NRCS' programs and how they can benefit you and your natural resources, visit us on the web at: www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov