COLUMBUS, Ohio — More than $1.3 million is available to agricultural producers and landowners to improve and protect water quality in the Great Lakes Basin. Terry J. Cosby, Ohio State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, announced a Fiscal Year 2017 sign-up period for agricultural producers to install specific conservation practices through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Agricultural producers located in select watersheds within the Great Lakes Basin, which includes portions of Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Marion, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot counties have until Feb. 17 to submit an application.
“The GLRI is a multi-agency partnership working together to improve and protect the waters of the Great Lakes Basin,” said Cosby. With this GLRI signup, we are providing agricultural producers in the Maumee River Watershed with an opportunity to utilize these funds as they work to improve their natural resources and improve water quality.
This year, GLRI focuses on practices that have the highest benefit for reducing water quality degradation due to agricultural runoff.
Examples of these practices include waste storage facilities, nutrient management, residue management, no-till, tree planting, drainage water management and many others.
Producers located in the selected Great Lakes Basin watersheds can apply at their local USDA Service Center for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Technical Assistance Program. NRCS specialists provide farmers with technical assistance to help determine the best conservation practices to improve and protect the resources on their land.
“The farmers and landowners who come to us for help are really the ones that deserve the credit,” said Cosby. “We provide them with information on the scientifically-proven practices and where best to use them, as well as financing to help pay for them, but it’s their land and they make the decisions.”
Since 1935, NRCS’ nationwide conservation delivery system works with private landowners to put conservation on the ground based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating State and national interests. To learn more about NRCS’ programs and how they can benefit you and your natural resources, visit us on the Web at www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service