From The Columbus Dispatch:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers these cash-incentive programs to farmers to help create or conserve natural areas on farms and reduce polluted runoff to streams.
• Offers farmers annual rental payments to plant land along streams and lakes with wild grasses instead of crops. These buffer strips and areas absorb nutrients and pesticides that rain otherwise would wash into ditches and streams.
U.S. funding: $1.7 billion in 2010
Ohio funding : $39.3 million in 2010
Conservation Reserve Enhancement
• Sets aside money for specifically targeted streams. Pays farmers annual rental payments to plant grasses or trees along waterways instead of crops, to reduce polluted runoff.
U.S. funding : $4.5 billion over the life of projects in different states
Ohio funding : $421.2 million commitment to Scioto River, Big Walnut Creek and Lake Erie drainage areas. (Note: Ohio provides $84.2 million of this amount, mostly through time and technical assistance of state employees needed to set up farmers’ conservation plans.)
Environmental Quality Incentives
• Provides as much as 90 percent of the cost to install new structures or equipment to help reduce erosion or polluted runoff.
U.S. funding : $1.2 billion in 2009
Ohio funding : $19.9 million in 2008
• Funds for promotion of conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy and plant and animal life.
U.S. funding : $305.5 million in 2008
Ohio funding : $18.8 million in 2008
• Funds converting flood-prone sections of farms to wetlands.
U.S. funding : $44.6 million in 2009
Ohio funding : $870,000 in 2009
Wildlife Habitat Incentive
• Funds creating wildlife areas, including wetlands, on farms.
U.S. funding : $57.8 million in 2008
Ohio funding : $712,000 in 2008
• Offers farmers rental payments for creating or conserving wetlands.
U.S. funding : $149.5 million in 2008
Ohio funding : $507,000 in 2008
Agricultural Pollution Abatement Cost Share Program
• The Ohio Department of Natural Resources program offers farmers money to help fix water-pollution problems.
U.S. funding : None
Ohio funding : $100,000 in 2010
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture; Ohio Department of Natural Resources