H2Ohio Update

Press Release from Ohio Department of Agriculture via Paulding SWCD – June 11, 2020

Although the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic required the state of Ohio to reassess its budget forecasts, the Department of Agriculture will be moving forward with $50 million in incentive funds available to producers for implementation of the Best Management Practices (BMPs) included in Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio program.

H2Ohio funding for BMPs will begin in the crop year 2021. Soil & Water Conservation District staff will contact current H2Ohio applicants and work with producers to update all applications to reflect BMPs for crop years 2021, 2022, and 2023, with future year incentives contingent on the availability of funds.

H2Ohio Program Timeline

  • June 1 to August 14 – SWCD will revise program applications to reflect BMPs for the crop year 2021 details, with projections for years two and three. All applications must be complete by August 14.
  • September 1 to October 31 – ODA will evaluate program applications and notify program participants of approval of Voluntary Management Plans (VNMP) for 2020 and 2021 practices.
  • June 1 to Year-End – Participants develop and submit VNMPs.  Final plans must be approved by December 31, 2020.
  • Fall 2020 – Fall 2021 Implementation of H2Ohio BMPs.  VNMP must be approved prior to the implementation of an H2Ohio-eligible BMP.

Implementation

H2Ohio BMPs must be implemented in accordance with H2Ohio guidelines.  Practices that are not completed in a manner consistent with the applicable guidelines are not eligible for incentive payments.

The development of VNMPs may begin immediately. Program participants who submit a VNMP and have a plan approved by the SWCD Board of Supervisors are eligible for an incentive payment of $2.00 per acre for all acres included in the plan. The VNMP must include cropland acres where H2Ohio BMPs will be implemented. VNMPs must be submitted to the SWCD and approved prior to December 31, 2020.  Applicants whose operations generate a significant amount of manure must submit a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) to be eligible for program incentives.  Applicants who are required to develop a CNMP must certify that all information required to develop the plan has been submitted to the CNMP developer by December 31, 2020.  CNMPs must be approved prior to BMP implementation.

Fall 2020 BMPs

  • Conservation Crop Rotation (both small grains and forages)
  • Phosphorus Placement
  • Variable Rate Phosphorus Application
  • Drainage Water Management structures can be installed if the required surveys and engineering plans have been completed.  Management payments for drainage water management structures will be completed for crop years 2022 and 2023.

All H2Ohio BMP’s can be implemented beginning Spring 2021, practices will continue to be implemented through summer and must be completed no later than fall of 2021.  BMP’s must be completed in accordance with H2Ohio guidelines.

 

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