Federal funding is now available to farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) who implement conservation practices that benefit water quality. The funding is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, a five-year, $17.5 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. WLEB farmers should contact their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible to apply. Deadline is March 18.
Ohio Farm Bureau has been helping promote and provide in-kind contributions to RCPP as part of its $1 million Water Quality Action Plan.
The goal of RCPP is to reduce nutrients and harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie by assisting farmers in installing conservation practices that benefit water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie. The funding is for WLEB farmers in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.
This year Ohio livestock farmers will receive priority for funding. Nutrient management practices that allow for proper storage, timing and placement of nutrients, will help livestock producers comply with Ohio’s new nutrient management laws, Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 150.
Ohio Farm Bureau is encouraging WLEB farmers to develop nutrient management plans (NMPs) that detail responsible fertilizer use. OFBF provided funding for the hiring of four specialists who have started working with farmers to develop NMPs, which exceed state legal requirements.
For more information about conservation assistance available through the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative, visit Ohio’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website.