What Exactly is Nutrient Management?

Nutrient management is not always a conservation practice that one can visually see in the field, but more of a management change. The goal of this practice is to reduce the amount of nutrient loss into our waterways with science based fertilizer/manure application rates based on crop needs and soils. This practice follows the 4-R’s of nutrient management; the right source, right rate, right time, and right place.

Producers follow guidelines to safely apply their nutrients in a sustainable manner. This may include updated soil testing, variable rate applications, no surface applications on frozen or snow covered grounds, limited fall nitrogen applications and nutrient applications that follow the Tri-State Fertility Guide recommendations to name a few.

The end results is economical crop yields, decreased amount of nutrient loss, and enhanced water quality. This practice provides a written plan for producers to follow for their farms’ specific needs. The end result is greening up our fields and not our lakes and rivers.

SWCD Water Quality Efforts Recognized

Full detention structure in field waterway

Clermont SWCD, along with the Clermont Office of Environmental Quality and the US EPA Office of Research and Development were awarded the top government storm water project of the year at the 2019 Ohio Storm Water Conference in Sharonville, OH. Our project was funded by a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and was installed in 2015. This project was funded to research innovative solutions by developing new strategies to support conservation efforts. The project involved the installation of an urban storm water detention basin into an agricultural setting. This project is currently being researched to determine effectiveness of agricultural nutrient removal.

Submerged treatment bed for nutrient removal

The need to address agricultural runoff is important because of the water quality degradation and algal blooms that are occurring around the world. Nutrients leaving agricultural fields are a contributing factor to water quality problems. The soils that we have in our county are very unique to Ohio and an “outside the box” approach was needed because current management practices do not always apply in our area.

The partnership to make this project successful includes many county, state and federal agencies, landowners, and the private industry. This project speaks to the great success of everyone working together for a viable solution.

Guidebook available on detention basins

In 1990, Clermont County established storm water management regulations to help manage storm water in an urbanizing county. With more businesses, houses and roads, there is less open ground to absorb the rain that falls. Most new developments are required to have storm water runoff controls, such as detention basins, to help manage the extra runoff. In most cases, the responsibility to maintain and repair detention basins falls on the owner of the property, or possibly a homeowners’ association.

To help owners understand the tasks involved, Clermont SWCD recently published a resource guide titled “Maintaining Your Detention Basin: A Guidebook for Private Owners in Clermont County.”

A detention basin is a low-lying area designed to temporarily capture and hold storm water runoff during periods of heavy rain. After the rain ceases, the basin slowly releases the water over a period of one or two days to minimize flooding and stream bank erosion problems downstream.  Basins also help remove sediments from storm water runoff, which improves the quality of local streams.

The guidebook will help answer questions and provide owners with detailed instructions for basin maintenance activities.  The booklet includes information on the components of a detention basin, recommended maintenance activities and inspection schedules, vegetation management, mosquito control and more.

Routine maintenance will help prolong the life of the detention basin, help prevent flooding and property damage, and protect local streams and lakes. Routine maintenance will also help minimize the necessity for more costly repairs.

Click here to download a copy of the “Maintaining Your Detention Basin” guidebook, or call the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District at 513.732.7075.

Could Your Farm Benefit From a Watering System?

cowdrinkDo you currently have livestock on your property?  Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, alpacas…?  Do you also have a stream running through your property that your animals have access to?  If so, then there’s a cost share program that you may greatly benefit from called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  If you or someone you know is looking for a clean source of water to capture for your livestock to drink then read on…