Ohio expands farmer incentive program to clean up Lake Erie

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Farmers in 10 more northern Ohio counties will be eligible to receive financial incentives for using new agriculture practices that improve water quality in Lake Erie, Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday.

That brings the number of counties eligible up to 24 through the H2Ohio water quality initiative’s farmer incentive program.

Nearly 2,000 farmers applied to enroll more than 1.1 million acres during the program’s first year. Those who sign up are able to receive payouts for using farming practices that limit runoff from fields that feeds harmful algae in the lake’s western end.

Phosphorus found in chemical fertilizers and manure spread on farm fields is the the biggest contributor to the algae.

The new eligible counties are: Seneca, Huron, Erie, Wyandot, Richland, Shelby, Sandusky, Marion, Ottawa and Crawford.