BUCYRUS — Producers who farm in the Western Lake Erie Basin within Crawford County have another item in the nutrient management toolbox to help protect Lake Erie water quality, thanks to the Ohio Legislature. The Ohio Working Lands Small Grains program provides an incentive for producers to establish small grains in a crop rotation that can be used for manure application following harvest. The program will expand the manure application window during warmer months and relieve the stress on manure storage during the winter and early wet springs.
Producers with eligible cropland acreage, successfully establishing either wheat, barley, oats, cereal rye, triticale or spelts, then harvesting it for seed and subsequently applying manure and establishing a cover crop, double crop soybeans or forage, will receive a $75 per acre cost-share payment through the program. The Crawford SWCD will manage the program sign-up, verification of eligibility and crop establishment. Soil tests and records of manure application will be required to be submitted to the SWCD as well. The sign up period for Fall 2018/Spring 2019 planted grains ends June 1, 2019.
“The Ohio Working Lands Small Grains program will give producers an additional opportunity to apply manure to a growing crop in warmer weather and hopefully avoid late winter or early spring manure holding capacity problems” explains Kirk Hines, chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Division of Soil and Water Conservation “Livestock producers need options, and this program features an incentive to implement a useful and viable option for manure application.”
The Ohio Working Lands Small Grains program is just one of the several programs filling up Western Lake Erie Basin producer toolboxes this spring regardless of operation type. The Crawford SWCD is taking sign-ups for the Working Lands Hay Buffer program which targets environmentally sensitive cropland areas and encourages the establishment of harvestable, perennial forages to provide year around vegetative cover.
For more information or to sign-up for these programs, contact the Crawford SWCD at 419-562-8280 or visit them at www.crawfordswcd.org.