Update: Manure Legislation
Over the past few years, ODPA has been working with Representative and Ag Committee Chair Hill, Ohio’s state agencies and the Governor to secure financial solutions to help farmers implement best management practices in handling manure, which are now required by Senate Bill 1 in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Unfortunately, ODPA has not been able to secure the support of Governor Kasich.
Recently, Senator Gardner and Representative Arndt sponsored legislation in the Ohio Senate and House that listened to our needs. One component of the legislation provides $20 million of support from the 2019 Soil and Water Conservation budget of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. These funds would help farmers with sub-surface application equipment for both manure and commercial fertilizer applications.
While the details of the legislation are still being worked out and waiting on the Governor’s signature, ODPA is intent on proactively identifying ways to access these funds to help our dairy farmers with manure storage, transportation and application equipment.
Prior to this, Governor Kasich and the Ohio EPA were working on introducing legislation of their own that would have named commercial fertilizer as a pollutant and put more regulations on the farm community. Ohio EPA was not successful in finding a Senator or Representative to sponsor their legislation.
As a result, Governor Kasich and his representatives have been quoted in the media saying they plan to use an Executive Order to place restrictions on farming practices to protect Lake Erie.
ODPA and other Ohio farm organizations have attempted to meet with the Governor to ask him to engage the industry in his administration's approach and he has refused. Our disappointment is being expressing through this recent news release.