H2Ohio Incentive Program Expanding Statewide

COLUMBUS, Ohio – H2Ohio’s incentive program for agriculture producers is expanding statewide.

The program, led by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, provides funding to producers to help offset the financial risk associated with implementing H2Ohio’s agricultural best management practices that work to improve Ohio’s water quality.  

The program is currently available only to farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin, but producers anywhere in the state will be eligible to participate beginning in 2024.

“Northwest Ohio agricultural producers have stepped up to put H2Ohio practices in place that are scientifically proven to reduce the nutrient runoff that contributes to algal blooms on Lake Erie,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “With the expansion of this program statewide, we can now tackle the issue of nutrient runoff in other parts of the state and improve the quality of even more Ohio waterways.”

Enrollment for farmers outside the Western Lake Erie Basin will open in early 2024, but enrollment is limited to 500,000 new acres statewide. Incentives for new H2Ohio participants will be offered for the completion and implementation of Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans, H2Ohio’s practice that reduces the risk of the over-application of nutrients while also allowing producers to use practices that best fit their farming operations. 

Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts work directly with each producer to approve Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans, assess the compatibility of implementing additional best management practices and provide conservation education.

“The agricultural community continues to be engaged and dedicated to Ohio’s water quality,” ODA Director Brian Baldridge said. “We must continue H2Ohio’s progress to reach more farmers and encourage them to implement these best practices on their farm operations. Healthy soil makes clean water.”

SWCDs are now hosting informational sessions for producers to learn more and sign up for H2Ohio.

More information about H2Ohio can be found HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.