Blanchard River Demonstration Farms

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is excited to announce a new agreement with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Blanchard River Demonstration Farms to assess the agronomic and economic impacts of H2Ohio Best Management Practices, the program’s agricultural measures implemented to reduce nutrient runoff into Ohio’s waterways.

BMPs are the core of ODA’s portion of Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative to improve water quality in Ohio. They are being implemented on farmland across the Western Lake Erie Basin. The goal of the agreement is to evaluate the practices to allow for more informed farmer and policymaking decisions.

“Collaborating with the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms will provide essential research and data that allows H2Ohio to continue to grow and evolve,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “These efforts are imperative for the long-term health of our program.”

“Since its inception five years ago, the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network has been at the forefront of testing new ideas and practices to help farmers find the best water quality solutions for their operation,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We appreciate this opportunity to team up with ODA to give even more farmers a better understanding of which H2Ohio practices will benefit their nutrient management goals while maintaining strong crop production.”

Five of the seven H2Ohio BMPs will be assessed: Manure Incorporation, Subsurface Placement, Nutrient Management Planning, Cover Crops, and Variable Rate Technology.

As part of this evaluation, important agronomic information will be collected and analyzed including crop yield, crop health, soil health, soil test trends, practice profitability and nutrient budgeting. Fact sheets will be developed to better inform producers on the long-term incorporation of BMPs. Economic evaluation tools will also be created to determine the profitability of each BMP for policymakers, conservation planners, and producers.

The Blanchard River Demonstration Farms were developed in 2015 to create opportunities for industry partners to test their research, provide technical assistance, and develop program implementation. They are part of a joint partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Ohio Farm Bureau and are a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project. Diverse in size and scope, the farms were chosen to showcase the many different methods of conservation practices that improve agriculture’s impact on water quality in Ohio.

H2Ohio is Governor DeWine’s initiative to ensure safe and clean water in Ohio. It is a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving water quality over the long term. H2Ohio focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring wetlands, and replacing home septic systems to reduce nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms.

Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
Sara Tallmadge's avatar
Sara Tallmadge

Ashland County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
Jim Bruner's avatar
Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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