ODA offering assistance programs

Staff report

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District, is offering new assistance programs to producers in the Western Lake Erie Basin to improve and protect water quality.

The Ohio Working Lands Small Grains Program provides an incentive for producers to establish small grains in a crop rotation that can be used for manure application following harvest. By default, it will expand the manure application window during warmer months and relieve the stress on manure storage during the winter and early wet springs.

Producers with eligible cropland acreage, successfully establishing either wheat, barley, oats, cereal rye, triticale or spelts, then harvesting it for seed and subsequently applying manure and establishing a cover crop or double crop soybeans, will receive a $75 per acre cost-share payment through the program.

Lucas SWCD will manage the program sign-up, verification of eligibility, and crop establishment. Soil tests and records of manure application will be required to be submitted to the SWCD as well. The goal of the program is to reduce nutrients entering Ohio waterways to lessen harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

Program enrollment for Ohio farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin runs through June 1.

“The Ohio Working Lands Small Grains program will give producers an additional opportunity to apply manure to a growing crop in warmer weather and hopefully avoid late winter or early spring manure holding capacity problems” said Kirk Hines, chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Division of Soil and Water Conservation “Livestock producers need options, and this program features an incentive to implement a useful and viable option for manure application.”

To sign up, or find more information, contact Matthew Brown, the Lucas SWCD’s Area Conservation technician, at 419-893-1966 ext. 3 or by cell phone, 419 377-0901.

Staff report