h2Ohio Agriculture FAQs 

Which counties are included as part of the H2Ohio program?

In 2020, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is rolling out H2Ohio programs in the following 14 counties:Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer, Fulton, Henry, Putnam, Allen, Auglaize, Lucas, Wood, Hancock, and Hardin.

What is the timing for the H2Ohio programs?
H2Ohio will focus first on reducing runoff into the Maumee River Watershed and Lake Erie and will eventually be offered to other parts of the state in the future. Farmers in the Maumee River Watershed will be able to enroll in H2Ohio programs for funding incentives beginning on February 1, 2020.
Where do I enroll for the H2Ohio program?
To sign up for any of the best management practices within the H2Ohio program visit your local Soil and Water Conservation District. Find your local office here: https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/soil-and-water-conservation/find-a-local-swcd/swcd-list
Do I have to be certified to get funding?
You are not required to receive a certification through the Ohio Agricultural Certification Program to enroll in H2Ohio, but it will be necessary to continue in the program long-term. Once a producer has enrolled in the H2Ohio program and is successful in implementing conservation practices, it will be necessary to work toward receiving a certification from the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative.
If I’m already enrolled in certain programs, am I eligible for H2Ohio funding?

Yes, you can be eligible for H2Ohio funding if enrolled in other conservation programs with the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service or other conservation partners; however, you cannot enroll the same acres with the same practice.

Will H2Ohio money be available for equipment for these practices?
In 2020, H2Ohio funding will be targeted toward 10 best management practices and cost share provided on a per acre or per structure basis. With some practices such as subsurface nutrient placement, a farmer can enroll for a period of up to four years. Cost share dollars for these practices will be provided to the producer, upon verified completion, and can be utilized as best fits within the farming operation’s interest.
How many acres need to be enrolled in H2Ohio best practices to achieve a 40% reduction?
Exactly how many acres it will take to achieve a significant reduction in the Maumee River Watershed is dependent on numerous factors, including the conservation practices implemented and the model or prediction method selected. Most models and experts agree that a majority of the 2.4 million acres of cropland in the Maumee River watershed will need to implement at least one best management practice to reduce harmful algal blooms.
Will my application data be made public or kept confidential?

Information gathered in the H2Ohio process is protected by law from disclosure.  To enroll in H2Ohio, producers will be requested to participate in the Ohio Agricultural Certification Program. Farm information provided to participate in the certification program will be kept confidential and only aggregated at a county or watershed basis. Like other state conservation programs where Ohio dollars are provided to fund best management practices, general information is sometimes requested by the state to assure eligibility.

Is there going to be a cap to the funding a producer may receive?
The Ohio Department of Agriculture has approximately $30.3 million available through the H2Ohio program for funding best management practices in 2020. This funding will be made available to producers in 14 counties identified in and around the Maumee River watershed. Individual practices may be capped for acreage enrollment, but no other caps are in place for 2020.
Why should I sign up for the H2Ohio program?

The H2Ohio program provides education, financial resources, tools, and in-field assistance to identify and implement conservation practices. H2Ohio dollars will also fund research into new conservation practices to reduce phosporus runoff and harmful algal blooms.

What is the relationship between H2Ohio and OACI?
OACI will work with the H2Ohio program to ensure funds get to farmers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement through implementation of science-based practices.

For farmers earning certification, H2Ohio funds will be available for continuous improvement in the implementation of conservation and nutrient management practices. Those not meeting the minimum criteria for certification will be given tools to create an action plan to become certified and will be eligible for H2Ohio funds to support their work.