Earlier this week, Ohio Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda released the following statement regarding H2Ohio:
“The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) applauds Ohio farmers’ demonstration of voluntary conservation through the overwhelming sign up of H2Ohio best practices to reduce phosphorus in the Maumee River Watershed. Nearly 2000 farmers submitted applications to enroll more than 1.1 million acres. This far exceeded expectations for the agricultural portion of the H2Ohio program.
While the rollout of the program was very thoughtfully executed, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a necessary reevaluation of ODA’s budget for the H2Ohio Initiative. ODA is committed to working within the Administration’s budgetary guidelines and will communicate with farmers the status of H2Ohio going forward based upon those guidelines once they are known.”
ODPA would like to thank those who submitted an application for the H2Ohio program. At this time, it is not clear the impact on H2Ohio funds, and it is recommended that farmers not make any major investments that would be dependent on a H2Ohio application. ODPA will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.