COLUMBUS – State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) announced the first round of payments to farmers enrolled in H2Ohio have been sent to farmers across Ohio. Approximately $197,000 was distributed to 154 famers for completed and approved Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans (VNMP).
H2Ohio incentivizes farmers to implement proven conservation practices to aid in reducing phosphorus runoff. The initiative recognizes an approved VNMP as one of the seven identified practices, and it is required for all famers who are enrolled in the program.
It is the responsibility of local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Boards to review and approve VNMPs prior to the distribution of incentive payments. During this first round of incentive payments, of the 14 counties involved, Putnam, Hancock and Auglaize SWCD Boards have approved 154 VNMPs. This totals to 98,000 acres and approximately $197,000 in payments.
Remaining SWCD Boards will continue to meet throughout the upcoming months to approve VNMPs and allocate payments to other VNMPs throughout the state.
“I am excited to see the first round of payments dispersed to farmers with participating and approved Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans,” said Koehler. “These plans are essential for maximizing growth in a farmer’s cropland due to their accurate testing on realistic crop yields. H2Ohio is a prosperous program and their partnership with Ohio’s farmers will bring for a fruitful spring.”
In 2020, 1,750 farmers enrolled more than 1,080,000 acres of cropland in VNMPs in the targeted 14 counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin in the H2Ohio Program. This year, nearly $2.1 million is expected to be distributed to 1750 farmers by the end of May.
Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative is the state’s first comprehensive, data-driven water quality plan to reduce harmful algal blooms, improve wastewater infrastructure and prevent lead contamination in Ohio’s water sources.