December 6, 2017

CRP Signup Changes

Grassed Waterway

A popular program with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) where landowners can apply for federal assistance to address environmental needs is advising interested applicants to apply and be added to a waiting list. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), popular with farmers looking to install grassed waterways, filter strips, wildlife plantings, among others has reached its maximum acreage nationwide. This means those on the waiting list will be offered assistance first when signups become available. Please contact the Clermont FSA office for information or additional assistance at 513-732-2181.

 

 

December 6, 2017

SWCD Welcomes New NRCS Employee

Jenna Swanson joined the Clermont County Conservation Office in October. She is a Soil Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Jenna grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where she worked on her grandparents apple and peach orchard until college. Jenna received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy from Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!). After graduation, she worked for the NRCS in Southern Virginia for two years before moving to Cincinnati. She is looking forward to serving Clermont and Brown counties. Come by the office and help her get acquainted to the area!

 

 

Jenna Swanson, Soil Conservationist, NRCS-Clermont County

Posted in: USDA
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

What’s the Buzz with USDA?

The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pay you to do something that benefits you and the rest of the world – enhance pollinator habitat on your land!

Pollinators are a crucial part of healthy agricultural and natural landscapes. More than 30% of our food crops are pollinated by insects. Pollinators are also needed by 90% of all flowering plants, which in turn support all wildlife.

You’ve probably heard that populations of honey bees, native bees, and monarch butterflies are all in rapid decline. You can help support them by planting pollinator habitat, which helps you in three ways. It improves crop yields, reduces soil erosion while protecting water quality in streams and ponds, and in some cases gives you free assistance and money to do these things.

Example of practices:
• Whole field pollinator planting or pollinator plots
• Cover crops
• Tree/shrub plantings
• Field borders
• Filter strips

If you are interested in finding out more information, send an email to Lori Lenhart, District Conservationist, or call her at 513-732-2181 x3. Plant pollinator habitat, every little bit helps!

Posted in: Pollinators, USDA
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.

August 8, 2016

District Joins LMRP & Partners to Kick Off CREP Initiative

The Clermont SWCD, Clermont County Water & Sewer Dept., and Clermont County Commissioners are joining the Little Miami River Partnership, NRCS, FSA, ODNR and a host of other partners on a proposal that could attract nearly $90 million of federal funding to help protect the Little Miami River watershed. The funds would be used to put best management practices on critical agricultural lands along streams. A takeoff on the traditional Farm Bill program CRP, a CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) can provide higher incentive payments and targets the most vulnerable agricultural lands along streams. Although these can be very productive farm lands, they are also subject to frequent flooding and excessive runoff and sediment loss, which can have a greater impact on stream quality than upland agriculture. The proposal process is very complex and could take nearly 18 months to complete. If USDA accepts the partnership’s proposal, the CREP program would be rolled out to landowners in the Little Miami River watershed shortly thereafter.