H2Ohio Update

The Department of Agriculture is moving forward with $50 million in incentive funds available to producers for the implementation of the H2Ohio Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Farmer participation in the H2Ohio program has been impressive.  Nearly 2000 applications have been submitted from the 14 targeted counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin with 1.2 million acres enrolled, about 43% of total cropland.

H2Ohio funding for BMPs will begin in crop year 2021. Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) are working with producers to update all H2Ohio applications to reflect BMPs for crop years 2021, 2022, and 2023, with future year incentives contingent on the availability of funds.


Each producer is required to develop a Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan (VNMP), submit it to the SWCD and gain approval by December 31, 2020.

These BMPs may be implemented in Fall of 2020:

  • Conservation Crop Rotation (both small grains and forages)
  • Phosphorus Placement
  • Variable Rate Phosphorus Application
  • Drainage Water Management structures can be installed if the required surveys and engineering plans have been completed. Management payments for drainage water management structures will be completed for crop years 2022 and 2023.

All H2Ohio BMPs may be implemented beginning Spring 2021, practices will continue to be implemented through summer and must be completed no later than fall of 2021.

H2Ohio Program Timeline

  • June 1 to August 14 – SWCD will revise program applications to reflect BMPs for crop year 2021 details, with projections for years two and three. All applications must be complete by August 14.
  • September 1 to October 31 – ODA will evaluate program applications and notify program participants of approval of Voluntary Management Plans (VNMP) for 2020 and 2021 practices.
  • June 1 to Year End – Participants develop and submit VNMPs. Final plans must be approved by December 31,2020.
  • Fall 2020Fall 2021 Implementation of H2Ohio BMPs.