Initial payments are going out to farmers enrolled in the H2Ohio Initiative for improved water quality. The first incentive payments will be distributed to 154 farmers for completed and approved Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans (VNMP).
In 2020, 1,750 farmers enrolled more than 1,080,000 acres of cropland in VNMPs in the targeted 14 counties within the Western Lake Erie Basin in the H2Ohio Program. Through the H2Ohio program, farmers are incentivized for implementing proven conservation practices to help reduce phosphorus runoff.
A completed and approved VNMP is one of the seven identified practices and is required for all farmers enrolled in the program. Local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Boards must review and approve VNMPs before incentive payments are distributed. SWCD Boards will continue to meet throughout the spring to approve VNMPs and allocate payments.
“The Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans are an important component of our H2Ohio initiative because they lay the groundwork to begin to reverse the serious water quality issues in Lake Erie,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “It is great to see farmers’ commitment and enthusiasm about reducing phosphorus runoff into Ohio’s waterways through this science-based approach.”