An additional $41 million in federal funding is now available for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) to use toward conservation methods. The new three-year Natural Resources Conservation Service WLEB Initiative provides funds for accelerated conservation assistance to farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The deadline to apply is April 29.
Farmers should make an appointment with their local NRCS office as soon as possible to begin the conservation planning process to apply for funds. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will be used to fund the applications.
Funds are targeted to obtain the greatest environmental benefit in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Applications with 100 percent of the land located within the western basin that contain soils with a high risk for leaching or surface run-off, land with high soil test phosphorus levels and land with direct drainage to tributaries in the basin will receive priority.
Water quality is a priority issue for Ohio Farm Bureau, which launched its Water Quality Action Plan in September 2014 to help farmers improve their knowledge and develop techniques that make sense agronomically and environmentally. Member funding for that initiative has grown to nearly $2 million.