Monday, September 30, 2013

New Water Quality Trading Program reduces the amount of nutrients leaving the farm

Mark Thomas is an ISDA Soil Conservation Resource Specialist located in Southeastern Indiana.  He was raised and still works on his family farm raising corn, soybeans, beef cattle, and hay.  They have used No-till Planting for over twenty years.  Mark graduated from Purdue University in 1986 with a BS in Agriculture.  He has two children and is an adult 4H club leader.  He has been employed in Soil Conservation for 23 years and serves farmers in Franklin, Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, and Ripley Counties.

A pilot program between the Electric Power Research Institute and the State Agriculture Departments in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky launched in the summer of 2012.  The Ohio River Basin Trading Project is an interstate trading program that will allow power companies and farmers to work together to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff in the Ohio River Basin.  The five counties in Indiana that have been selected for this pilot program are Wayne, Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, and Ripley.
Farmers enter into contracts with their Soil and Water Conservation Districts to create water quality credits by installing Best Management Practices including Heavy Use Protection Areas, Hay Planting, and Cover Crops.  Several of these practices have been installed this summer. 

Another farmer has installed a Heavy Use Area Protection pad to help collect the nutrients   from a beef cattle feeding area.

For more information, contact the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

1 comment: