BUCYRUS -- The Ohio Department of Agriculture, in partnership with Crawford Soil and Water Conservation District is providing funding for farmers to establish forages for hay production to protect water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie.
The Ohio Working Lands program provides incentive payments to producers to establish, maintain and harvest forage/hay lands on eligible cropland acres. This one time sign up ends this May.
Local SWCD office staff can assist producers with a plan for establishing eligible acres. Eligible cropland can receive a $120/acre/year to maintain the forage for five years. The goal of the program is to reduce nutrients entering Western Lake Erie waterways by removing the nutrients through forage harvest.
Many existing forage stands suffered severe damage over the winter and may have severe quality issues. This program may be a perfect opportunity to offset some of the cost in establishing new hay seedings for production. Once approved in the program, producers are able to harvest the hay for feed or for resale for the length of the five-year contract.
Seedings may be delayed until Spring 2020, but must be signed up now.
For more information please contact the Crawford Soil & Water Conservation District at 419-562-8280 ext. #3 or online at www.crawfordswcd.org.