If you live in the Western Lake Erie Basin there is a good chance you have heard about H2Ohio. Hopefully you are taking advantage of the program and getting the incentives.

In case you haven’t heard, H2Ohio is a targeted water quality initiative. It started in 2019 and currently has 1.5 million acres in this voluntary program. Growers in the eligible area can sign up to use conservation practices and maintain standards of water quality. About 2,400 producers are enrolled and receiving benefits.

The recent news is that Governor Mike DeWine has signed the 2024-2025 State budget into law. In this piece of legislation, H2Ohio will receive $60 million in funding each year. This is increased from last year. For now the program is only in the western Lake Erie basin.

Grower participation in H2Ohio is completely voluntary, but here is why you should consider it. First, you get the support of experts like Clark Hutson, a program manager for H2Ohio at the ODA. But what it really does is shows other interest groups and regulators that producers can and will make marked improvements in nutrient retention without over-regulation.

We want you to maintain your social license to farm how you want to without overreach from people who aren’t in your shoes. A great way to do that is to show just how much producers can do.

At Ohio Corn & Wheat we like to say that sustainability is two types of green: environmental and economic. We want you to have the best of both worlds. Practices put forth in H2Ohio can reduce your input costs, improve your nutrient retention, and put extra money in your pocket from incentives.

Environmental and economic green – it’s a win-win.

For more information about H2Ohio and how to get involved, please visit https://h2.ohio.gov/. You can also listen to Ep 023 of Kernels with Ohio Corn & Wheat wherever you get your podcasts.