April 21, 2017

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for Declining Pollinator Populations

COLUMBUS, OH, April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new conservation effort for Ohio agriculture producers to help combat future declines of honey bees and Monarch butterflies by providing food and habitat sources. Through May 19, producers may apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant cover crops, or plant milkweed, wildflowers, and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production.

More than 80 percent of the world’s plants need pollinators to survive, including many that provide the food we eat. But many pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies are in trouble. That’s why NRCS works with private landowners to create food and habitat for pollinators on farms and in forests. In total, more than 3 dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators.

For more information regarding the Honey Bee EQIP sign-up in Clermont or Brown County, contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.

April 21, 2017

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for Declining Pollinator Populations

COLUMBUS, OH, April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new conservation effort for Ohio agriculture producers to help combat future declines of honey bees and Monarch butterflies by providing food and habitat sources. Through May 19, producers may apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant cover crops, or plant milkweed, wildflowers, and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production.

More than 80 percent of the world’s plants need pollinators to survive, including many that provide the food we eat. But many pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies are in trouble. That’s why NRCS works with private landowners to create food and habitat for pollinators on farms and in forests. In total, more than 3 dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators.

For more information regarding the Honey Bee EQIP sign-up in Clermont or Brown County, contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.

March 6, 2017

US EPA Model Helps SWCD Focus Conservation Efforts

Predicted sediment loads for different areas in the Grassy Run watershed

Since 2008, Clermont SWCD and other members of the East Fork Watershed Cooperative have been working together to reduce nutrient and sediment levels in the East Fork Little Miami River and Harsha Lake. One Cooperative member – US EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) – has developed a water quality model that is making it easier for SWCD to focus our conservation efforts.

Using data collected by various members of the Cooperative, US EPA-ORD has developed and calibrated a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model for the East Fork watershed. The SWAT model has been effective in predicting sediment and nutrient loads from different land uses, and also in predicting the impact that various management scenarios might have on reducing pollutant loads. Already, this model has helped Clermont SWCD with several projects.

In 2011, Clermont SWCD received a Conservation Innovation Grant that provided funds for a concentrated planting of cover crops in the Grassy Run Watershed. US EPA-ORD applied the SWAT model to help identify areas within the watershed which are prone to high soil erosion, and therefore good candidates for winter cover crops. Once these locations were known, SWCD staff and the NRCS District Conservationist were able to work with producers to secure commitments to plant cover crops in these fields for a period of three years.

More recently, Clermont SWCD received a Resource Conservation Partnership Program grant for additional conservation practices in the Harsha Lake watershed. For each application received, US EPA-ORD uses the SWAT model to predict nutrient loadings from that field. The fields with the highest loadings receive additional points in the ranking process, and receive additional consideration for funding assistance. In this way, SWCD and NRCS are able to use limited grant funds in areas where they are most needed.

Through its partnership with US EPA-ORD, Clermont SWCD hopes to continue to use the SWAT model as part of future programs so that we may focus conservation efforts where they are most needed.

January 9, 2017

NRCS accepting CSP applications through February 3

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP is the largest conservation program in the United States with 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.

CSP helps agricultural and forestry producers build on existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operations. Most that are approved to participate in CSP have already been implementing conservation practices on their land. CSP offers more than 200 enhancements for those practices.

Once enrolled in CSP, the producer will have a one-on-one consultation with the NRCS conservation planner to evaluate the current operations and the natural resources on the property. Then the planner will determine if current activities meet stewardship eligibility, and will assist the producer in identifying additional enhancements to consider based on existing conservation practices, such as cover crops or precision agriculture. After the enhancements that best fit the operation are selected, CSP offers annual incentive payments for installing these activities on the land.

Applicants must have control of the land they want to enroll for a minimum of five years to be eligible. Producers interested in the program should contact the NRCS office prior to February 3, 2017. Additional information on the program is located at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/csp. Producers in Clermont and Brown Counties should contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at (513) 732-2181 ext. 3, or by email at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov.

November 23, 2016

Clermont County to Host New and Small Farm College

Are you interested in learning how to make the most of a few acres? If so, the OSU Extension Clermont office is hosting an eight week course just for you. Topics include: Getting Started, Sources of Information, Legal/Insurance, Financial/records, Marketing and more.

Weekly classes will be held on Thursday evenings in the 4-H Hall on the Clermont County Fairgrounds between January 12 and March 2. The cost to register is $150 for the first person from a farm and $100 for each additional person. This includes dinner, drinks and dessert each night, along with a materials binder and one soil sample evaluation.

To register or for more information, contact Gigi Neal at neal.331@osu.edu or 513-732-7070.

November 23, 2016

Clermont SWCD Thanks Its 2016 Cooperators

Thanks to all our Cooperators for all the Conservation Best Management Practices installed this Year!

Agri-chemical Handling Facility

Wolfer Farms

Brush Management

Bob Bolce

Charles Ernstes (4)

Jim Metzger

Jeremy Mount (2)

Don Smith (2)

Laura Weber (3)

Dan Welz

Arthur Williams (2)

Conservation Crop Rotation

Tony Panetta

Robert Stahl

Conservation Stewardship Program

Tina Bosworth

Dave Uible

Cover Crop Plantings:

Doug Auxier  (2)

Troy Baker

Robert Fee

Jason Grant

John Gray

Jeff Gunter

L & L Farm Holdings

Ted Hollender

Rob Hutchison

Tim Jarman

James Liming

Mark Liming

Brian Lung

Tony Panetta

Louie Rose

Richard Rosselot

Robert Stahl

Dan Tarvin

David Werring

Tim Werring

Tony Werring

Eugene Wiederhold

Wolfer Farms (2)

Critical Area Planting

David Morgan

Waltz Enterprises

Forest Stand Improvement

Jeremy Mount

Varick Trust (2)

Heavy Use Area Protection

Wolfer Farms

Herbaceous Weed Control

Joel Monteith (2)

Laura Weber

High Tunnel

Louise Gartner

Adam Mancino

Prescribed Grazing

Victor Riley

Dan Weber (2)

Tree/Shrub Establishment

Joel Monteith (2)

Jeremy Mount

Laura Weber

Arthur Williams

Upland Wildlife Habitat Management

Cincinnati Nature Center