|For most agricultural producers, activities over the winter months tend to slow down. This is an opportune time to take a look at your farming operation and determine if there are areas that could benefit from the establishment of one or more conservation practices.
For instance, do you have a ditch or stream running through your farm that needs a filter strip? Is a particular field prone to wind erosion and stands to benefit from a windbreak? How about that one area that’s hard to farm because it’s always wet? Have you considered how FSA’s Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (Lake Erie CREP) might benefit your farming operation and help to protect the environment at the same time?
Lake Erie CREP began with the main objective to improve water quality in all of our rivers, streams, and tributaries within the Lake Erie watershed with a special emphasis on the Blanchard and Tiffin Rivers as important tributaries of the Maumee River. These conservation practices will target environmentally sensitive areas to reduce sediments and nutrients, prevent water pollution and minimize the risk of flooding and improve the habitat for multiple wildlife species. Continue reading
Join OSU’s Water Quality Extension Associates for their annual winter webinar series focusing on the interaction between agriculture and water quality. These webinars will take place monthly from January to March 2023. Continue reading
Join Paulding County Extension from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM on Thursday, August 4th for a program titled “Agriculture and Water Quality: How do TMDLs and Edge-of-Field Monitoring fit in?”
Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist in Agronomic Systems from Ohio State University Extension and Josh Griffin, Lake Erie Programs Manager from Ohio EPA will speak at this event.
This program will focus on water quality, the agricultural practices that impact it, and the potential solutions for improving it by discussing edge-of-field research being conducted by The Ohio State University. Curious what practices could be improving and impeding water quality on your farm? Have you been thinking about how the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process will impact farming in Northwest Ohio? Join us to hear what the process for TMDLs consists of, where the Maumee Watershed is in that process, and what farming practices can contribute to improved water quality.
Register for this free event at go.osu.edu/TMDL. CCA credits for Soil and Water management will be provided.
A new USDA video provides a closer look at the collaborative partnerships driving innovative water quality assessment and conservation in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The video, Science-Based Solutions: Leveraging Partnerships to Protect the Western Lake Erie Basin, shows how USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) watershed studies in the Western Lake Erie Basin bring researchers, farmers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations together to develop science-based solutions and strategically place them where they can deliver the greatest conservation benefits.
Under CEAP, a network of researchers, from government agencies to universities, work together to monitor the impact of conservation practices on the landscape. These studies directly inform USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, practices, and planning and ensure that the agency provides technical and financial assistance to landowners to develop and implement impactful conservation plans.
Regional partnerships like those driving conservation efforts in the Western Lake Erie Basin have proven to be effective, as demonstrated by the recently released USDA report, Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland: A Comparison of CEAP I and CEAP II Survey Data and Modeling.
CEAP is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices and programs and develop the science base for managing the agricultural landscape for environmental quality. Project findings will be used to guide USDA conservation policy and program development and help conservationists, farmers and ranchers make more informed conservation decisions.
Join OSU Extension’s Water Quality team for a breakfast meeting focused on conservation practices!
We need your input on which types of conservation practices to include in future watershed plans. The practices outlined in these watershed plans will be the first to receive funding once the plans are implemented and grants are secured. The meeting will be held on the Paulding County Fairgrounds in the Youth Leadership Building from 7:30AM – 9:00 AM on Tuesday, April 12th. Breakfast will be provided free of charge, but an RSVP is required. Call 567-344-5016 to register, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click the link below to see an enlarged version of the flyer
Input Meeting Email Flyer – Link to flyer
Join OSU Extension’s Water Quality Associates on Tuesday, February 22nd from 10-11AM for a public input meeting regarding on-farm conservation practices. This webinar is aimed toward farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin who farm or live near our target watersheds, found on the attached flier. This virtual webinar will allow OSU’s Water Quality team to hear directly from farmers and landowners to guide local watershed planning efforts and funding priorities. What conservation practices do you want to learn more about? Are there practices that you think may work for your farm, but you don’t know where to start? Are there practices you are interested in if additional funding or support becomes available? Join us for an informal discussion to talk about these topics.
Register for this webinar at www.go.osu.edu/inputmeeting, or contact a Water Quality Extension Associate to give your input if you can’t attend the meeting. Contact Paulding County’s WQEA Rachel Cochran, email@example.com, (567) 344-5016, with any questions.
Click below to view the second video in our new 5-Minute Ag Topic video series, which we hope to continue over the course of 2022. The topic for this second video is manure. Water Quality Extension Associate Rachel Cochran discusses different types of manure, rules and regulations surrounding its use, benefits to applying manure, as well as safety considerations. If you have any suggestions for future video topics, or would like to get information regarding manure research opportunities on your farm, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Join the Ohio State University’s Water Quality Extension Associates for a webinar series discussing topics related to water quality, ranging from Phosphorus and agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) to watershed planning and technology. Continue reading
Click below to view the first video in our new 5-Minute Ag Topic video series, which we hope to release over the next few months. This first video topic is Phosphorus, where Water Quality Extension Associate Rachel Cochran discusses a quick overview of this essential plant nutrient. If you have any suggestions for future topics, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The six water quality extension associates located in Northwest Ohio are gearing up for winter programming and need input from you! Continue reading
Do you know of a farmer who would be an excellent candidate with leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for soil health and water quality management as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation? You can nominate them by completing an online form. Select the button for the application.
The Nature Conservancy is looking for farmers who are currently utilizing cover crops on their farms in the Maumee River Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin. We are looking for a diverse group of farmers; large acreage, small acreage, corn and soy, small grains, livestock, new and experienced, willing to reach out and share their knowledge and experiences with other farmers in their area. Selected farmers will be compensated for their time. Select the button for this application.
If you are interested in being part of this exciting farmer-led outreach project and would like to apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation please complete the online application form by selecting the button above.
The application period is open for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin that are interested in sharing their conservation farming practices with other farmers. Farmer Advocates will be compensated for their time to attend the training and work with other farmers @ $30/hour. The focus of the project is to promote farmers learning from each other about building soil health and managing water.
To apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation or to nominate a farmer you believe would be an excellent candidate please use the online application and nomination forms on the landing page found at https://sites.google.com/view/farmeradvocate or please contact Stephanie Singer, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org.
Did you miss out on the live presentations for this winter on The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface? Great news! Recordings are available for the entire series of topics.
In this weekly series, farmers, industry, and academic experts weighed in on practical steps to improve soil health and measure impact on crop yield and farm profitability.
Recordings and Slide Sets are available at https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/webinar-recordings/dirt-soil-health-investing-below-surface-0 or on the OSU Agronomic Crops Team YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlh_BdeqniJPI5Ga7icO7mbFzDdpK7fr or by clicking one of the videos below.
Does It Pay to Improve Soil Health on Your Farm?
Panel discussion with farmers Nathan Brown (Highland County), Matt Falb (Wayne County), and Les Seiler (Fulton County).
A major agronomic debate is being played out in Columbus now, which has potentially large ramifications for western Lake Erie and goes beyond simply looking at the staggering volumes of liquid and solid excrement produced by northwest Ohio cows, hogs, and chickens.
It focuses on the minutia of agricultural science, right down to the parts per million of phosphorus applied to soil in the form of manure.
One of the many groups raising questions is the Lake Erie Foundation, a consortium of Lake Erie-area business and environmental interests. That group and others, including Lake Erie Waterkeeper, want manure-based phosphorus applications dialed down to roughly the same concentration as commercially made, synthetic fertilizers, which is about 40 to 50 parts per million. Manure has for years been applied on northwest Ohio crop farms at much higher concentrations, usually 150 ppm. Some critics, though, claim the application rate has, in reality, gotten as high as 200 ppm to 250 ppm.
From information gathered in a public records request, the foundation believes the state of Ohio has rejected a recommendation from an independent consultant, McKinsey & Co., to promote 50 ppm as a limit for manure, even though Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture director, showed support for that in 2019. The firm was paid $1.5 million to provide advice to the DeWine administration for its H2Ohio program, which aims to improve water quality statewide through better farming techniques, more and improved wetlands, better pipelines, and other measures. Continue reading
The Paulding Soil & Water Conservation District is pleased to announce the launch of a new cost-share program called the Lower Auglaize Nutrient & Sediment Reduction Program (NSRP) for producers in Paulding County. Funding is limited in this program so be sure to contact me as soon as possible. Check below for program details. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
By Tom Henry, The Toledo Blade, firstname.lastname@example.org
With little explanation, the city of Toledo has withdrawn its appeal of U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary’s Feb. 27 ruling to invalidate the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.
In his eight-page ruling, Judge Zouhary said his decision to invalidate LEBOR was “not a close call.”
The ruling came on the one-year anniversary of a special February 2019, a special election which drew only 9 percent of the city’s registered voters. Of those, 61 percent approved a citizen-led referendum that called for amending the city’s charter. Continue reading
Don’t miss out on the upcoming events in Paulding and around the area!
Written by Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program
Toledo’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) has been in the headlines a lot lately, and certainly on the minds of farmers in the Lake Erie watershed. So far, the Ag Law Blog has focused attention on what LEBOR is, why it was on the ballot, and what types of defenses agricultural producers can raise if sued. Because voters approved the ballot measure, the focus now shifts to how LEBOR will be treated in the courts. Continue reading