Vilsack, USDA Pledge $2 Million To Lake Erie Water Quality

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that $2 million in conservation funds will be sent to Ohio to help implement conservation techniques that will help improve water quality. The Secretary said USDA is also partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to expand “boots-on-the-ground” capacity in the area and will be contributing an additional $1 million in technical assistance which will in turn be leveraged by the NFWF along with other public and private entities. Earlier this month, water service in Toledo, OH, was disrupted by algae blooms in Lake Erie.

The new funding is the latest contribution of resources to the Lake Erie watershed from USDA, which has invested $46 million in the watershed since 2009.

“The voluntary conservation efforts supported by this new funding will help improve water quality in Lake Erie,” Vilsack said. “Many farmers have consistently stepped up to the plate on efforts to protect our water and we want to provide support and incentives for continued action. Along with these resources, we will be offering technical and financial assistance through our direct relationships with farmers, and by partnering with private and public groups on continuing conservation efforts in the Great Lakes basin.”

The Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is accepting applications from farmers this week for resources that will help with the planting of cover crops, which experts agree offer the best protection to prevent soil and nutrient erosion in the next season. The funding will be allocated to the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) to help farmers and partners accelerate water quality conservation activities to benefit Lake Erie. NRCS will be providing up to $2 million in Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds in Ohio for a targeted, one-week signup. This signup will be focused on planting cover crops on vulnerable soils this fall in order to reduce soil and nutrient loss from farm fields.

A number of factors contribute to algae blooms. Warm water, lack of agitation, rainfall and runoff from farms, lawns, and other sources can all contribute to the problem. Members of the scientific community believe that global warming is contributing to earlier blooms, not just in waterways in the United States but elsewhere. Conservation practices such as no-till reduce the amounts of sediment and nutrients in run-off, which is also influenced by the amount of precipitation and the time precipitation occurs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA are working together to assist producers in efforts to reduce runoff by planting cover crops, controlling drainage and constructing systems like anaerobic digesters to reduce the amount of untreated effluent entering ditches, streams, rivers and lakes.

Last week, NRCS leadership met with more than 100 farmers, agricultural groups and fertilizer dealers in Ohio to talk about the expertise USDA can offer and to spread the word about the best conservation practices for the watershed.

“Farmers understand how recent events may impact them and are motivated to work with us to reduce phosphorus run-off, starting now with the planting of additional cover crops,” NRCS Chief Jason Weller said. “We created this opportunity for farmers who want to get cover on their fields quickly, and we will continue to create complete nutrient management plans for long-term water quality and sustainability practices.”

Along with its ongoing conservation efforts that have contributed $46 million since 2009, in May the Great Lakes Basin was also designated by Vilsack as a critical conservation area, or CCA, in the new 2014 Farm Bill Regional Conservation Partnership Program. That new program will invest $1.2 billion in innovative conservation efforts through partnerships with non-federal entities, who are expected to match the federal investment for a total of $2.4 billion in conservation resources.

Leave a Reply

Data Management Stories
Farmer with iPad
Data ManagementRegaining Control Of Field Data
March 23, 2017
When it comes to creating and building value with farmer-customers, service providers today have new allies to support their efforts. Read More
Ag Tech GlobalFarmobile Continues Connecting the Dots, adds Buyer to Data Store
March 21, 2017
Farmobile announced today that Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist, will purchase enhanced data sets to help optimize Read More
Ag Retailer and Growers with tablet WinField United
Data ManagementEliminating Human Error In Precision Ag Data Documentation
March 15, 2017
As precision ag consultants, we spend a lot of time working with clients to implement best management practices to acquire Read More
Dark Clouds Field
Data ManagementWhat Will The Weather Be Like This Growing Season?
March 7, 2017
By far, the most popular question I am asked at any agricultural conference is about the weather and how it Read More
Trending Articles
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On John Deere And Apple
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Australia crop
Ag Tech GlobalMaking Precision Agriculture Work In Australia
March 6, 2017
Editor’s note: Reinder Prins is Market Development Manager for Cotton Growers Service in Wee Waa, NSW, Australia, where he is Read More
ScoutPro | ScoutPro
Decision Support Software17 Field Scouting Apps For Precision Agriculture
February 6, 2017
There are dozens of easy-to-use mobile apps that are ideal for every day field scouting tasks. From record keeping and Read More
John Deere Dealership
Business ManagementAg Retailer, Equipment Dealer Improve Service By Working Together
January 27, 2017
Some believe that in many aspects of life, timing is everything. Among those believers, please count Randy Bartholomew, Integrated Solutions Read More
Innovation SeriesPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 25, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Latest News
Farmer with iPad
Data ManagementRegaining Control Of Field Data
March 23, 2017
When it comes to creating and building value with farmer-customers, service providers today have new allies to support their efforts. Read More
Y-Drop 360 Yield
Tools & Smart EquipmentSplit Nitrogen Application: Where The 4Rs Get Real
March 23, 2017
When Illinois Grower Jeremy Wilson hit the farm conference circuit these past two years, one of his talks was always Read More
Hort TechSciFi in Ag: Robots Could Take Multi-Hybrid Planting Ne…
March 23, 2017
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Erich Eller ForeFront Ag Solutions with Ag Eagle-drone
Business ManagementForeFront Ag Solutions: Going Beyond The Averages
March 22, 2017
He’s flying essentially solo these days with business support from his wife Jennifer, but Erich Eller has big dreams for Read More
Ag Tech GlobalFarmobile Continues Connecting the Dots, adds Buyer to …
March 21, 2017
Farmobile announced today that Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist, will purchase enhanced data sets to help optimize Read More
Valley Irrigation 8000 series corn
Hort TechValley Irrigation Now Exclusive OEM Provider of Trimble…
March 21, 2017
Valley Irrigation and Trimble announced that Valley Irrigation will become the exclusive OEM distributor of Trimble’s Irrigate-IQ precision irrigation solution, according Read More
Farmer Brad Hagen inspects cover crops
Business ManagementTop 5 Features Of A Good Sustainability Program
March 20, 2017
In a recent study, 60% of Iowa farmers agreed that their fertilizer dealers should do more to help them address Read More
Soil sampling Brazil
Ag Tech GlobalAn Overview Of Precision Ag In Brazil
March 17, 2017
Brazil is a huge player in international agriculture and precision farming is helping to increase productivity. With diverse crop production, Read More
Web Soil Survey soils map
Imagery/SensingCan The Web Soil Survey Help To Uncover Answers To Prec…
March 16, 2017
A farming magazine recently published an article of an interview of two experts discussing how understanding the topography of a Read More
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They L…
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Ag Retailer and Growers with tablet WinField United
Data ManagementEliminating Human Error In Precision Ag Data Documentat…
March 15, 2017
As precision ag consultants, we spend a lot of time working with clients to implement best management practices to acquire Read More
Curve Compensation ExactEmerge
ProfessionalsHow To Avoid Yield Loss Using Curve Compensation
March 15, 2017
Planting is often considered the most important step in a farming operation. For this reason, there have been many advancements Read More
IMPAC video
Hort TechHow Precision Agriculture Is Helping Farmers Win Over C…
March 14, 2017
“Your Food, Your Farmer” is a simple mantra, but one that resonates loudly with many of today’s consumers, writes Paul Read More
Brazil soil corn crop
Ag Tech GlobalA Precision Agriculture Project Starts With A Solid Fou…
March 13, 2017
I am a big fan of technologies in agriculture. I have become so impressed with the evolution of products and services Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On J…
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Ag Tech GlobalCalifornia Ag Tech Outfit Releasing Internet-of-Crops P…
March 10, 2017
Centaur Analytics, a leading AgTech company that provides real-time, crops monitoring and protection solutions, today announced it has opened advanced registration for its Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
ProfessionalsTop 5 Reasons Why Ag Retailers Need To Lead The Way In …
March 8, 2017
Smack dab in the middle of Iowa, you will find Casey’s General Store headquarters. For those of you who have Read More
Corn close up
Decision Support SoftwareUX in Ag: What are we Trying to do?
March 8, 2017
As designers, we’ve always considered ourselves outsiders—the unbiased third party in the agriculture world, writes co-authors Kayla Byington and Nick Read More