Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CAP Great Lakes Commission Grant – Brush Creek Watershed (Henry, Fulton & Williams Counties)

CAP is seeking farmers in the Brush Creek Watershed, to install sediment reduction practices. If you own land or farm in this watershed you are eligible for cost share cover crops and buffer strips.

Sign-up for both programs is limited (see the information below).  To verify your land is in the watershed contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District: Henry SWCD-419-592-2926; Fulton SWCD-419-337-9217; Williams SWCD-419-636-9395. Below is summary of how the program will work and the funds available for each practice enrolled in the program.

 ·         Cover Crops plus and erosion reduction incentive: 500 acres are to be established each of the program years. Producers signed up and approved in the Brush Creek Watershed within Fulton, Henry and Williams Counties. This grant will target 20 producers each year so a total of 60 producers will be enrolled under the 3 year program. Each producer will be allowed up to 25 acres and be paid a flat rate of $35 per acre. Added to this payment will be an erosion reduction payment of $4/acre per Ton of soil saved or a maximum incentive of $300 per producer. Therefore a producer that establishes a cover crop will be eligible to receive $1,175 for a 25 acre of cover crop.

 ·         Buffer strips plus erosion control structures: 15 acres of buffers are to be established under this program plus a total of 15 structures for the 3 years of this program. Under this program producers will be able to enroll and install a buffer strip of a minimum of 10 feet - 20feet in a buffer along a ditch. The buffer planted without a structure must be maintained for 5years and with a structure to be maintained 10years. Each acre established will receive a $350 per acre flat rate cost share payment plus a one-time signing bonus of $500 per acre. If a structure is established it will receive a $1400 flat rate of cost share. Therefore a producer that enrolls a one acre buffer with a structure will be eligible for a $2,250.

Conservation Action Project’s CAP Backer Program

December 2013, the Conservation Action Project (CAP), launched a new program i.e. The CAP Backer Program. This program was initiated to help assist on a variety of programs that support the CAP’s Mission “To maintain economic and environmental balances in Ohio’s agriculture through a cooperative partnership in government, private business and academia to enhance the quality of our natural resources for the benefit of all”. The primary function of this effort is the improvement of water quality in Ohio’s Great Lake, Lake Erie. Lake Erie has received a huge amount of press lately because of the large harmful algal blooms. These blooms are created by over enrichment of nutrients entering into our water systems that lead to the lake. As it relates to nutrients, phosphorus has been identified as the lead source of the algal blooms and more specifically that of dissolved reactive phosphorus.  Eighty percent of it comes from non-point sources and agriculture has been associated with this. Since more than 80% of the western basin of Lake Erie is in row crop production of corn and beans, it is the focus of a lot of press/research/rules for agriculture. So Ag does play an important part of the problem and solution of excess nutrients in the Lake.

CAP is part of a new outreach effort of using the principals of 4R’s in agriculture; Right Place, Right Amount, Right Time and Right Source. Our focus is to apply these principals with local agri-chemical dealerships in the seven county area of CAP to get them in tune with the principles and lead them to be 4R Certified. Our hope is that we will be able to get their producers to observe and participate in the practices. Using these funds we will be able to promote innovative conservation practices and responsible nutrient management on Ohio’s cropland.
CAP would like to acknowledge the following businesses and organizations for their financial contribution to this program – Legacy Farmer’s Cooperative, Dow Agri-Sciences, The Andersons and Rosen’s Diversified. These organizations commitment allows CAP to  “maintain economic and environmental balances in Ohio’s agriculture” by promoting the use of “The 4R principals”.