Technical assistance is provided by the Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Assistance includes site evaluation, survey, design and construction inspection of conservation structures and facilities. Other technical assistance includes conservation planning and soil survey information. All technical assistance is guided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Standards and Specifications for conservation practices. Federal and/or State cost share may be available to assist landowners installing practices.
Nutrient runoff is a continuous problem for freshwater throughout the state. However, there are a wide variety of actions that can be taken to reduce the volume and rate of storm water runoff, as well as to reduce the amount of nutrient in the runoff. These actions are typically known as Best Management Practices. Best management practices include soil and water conservation practices, other management techniques, and social actions that are developed for a particular region as effective and practical tools for environmental protection.
There are a wide range of BMPs available to farmers that can minimize the potential for P loss in agriculture runoff. They are deisned to control sources of P on farms as well as the processes by which P is transported form land to moving waters. Best management practices range from measures that involve a change in farming operations, like conseration tillage, to simple actions such as not applying manure before forecasted rain. It is critical that the most appropriate BMP, or suite of BMPs, be selected and implemented in the right place on the landscape, following installation and maintenance guidelines. Individual producers must decide which combination of BMPs is best suited to their farming operation, taking into account the specific soils, climate, and management factors.
Farmers throughout the county are already making strides to keep nutrients on the fields. To minimize nutrient loss, farmers are creating customized nutrient-management plans. By accounting for the different soil types, crop rotations, water flow and nutrient needs, each plan will help farmers better control the amount, source, placement, type and timing of fertilizer application. Technology and advanced farm equipment are also helping farmers accurately apply the right source of fertilizer at the right time, in the right place and with the right amount - thus producing more with less. Equally important is that everyone is affected by and can contribute to a resolution of nutrient related concerns. Most field evaluations of BMP effectiveness at reducing watershed export of P conclude that nutrient management is the single most effective measure for controlling P loss.
These facilities help livestock producers effectively manage the animal waste generated from their operation. The type of manure storage structure would depend on the livestock operation, animal waste management system and planned field application. Several options exist including an earthen storage pond, above or below ground tank, pit underneath a confinement facility or a sheltered concrete slab area. Manure can be pumped, scraped and hauled, pushed or flushed into your storage structure. The structure's purpose is to safely contain the manure and keep nutrient loss and pollution of downstream water to a minimum by preventing runoff. Technical assistance is available for operations of less than 1,000 animal units.
A filter strip is a strip of grass, trees or shrubs that filter runoff and remove contaminants before they reach water bodies or water sources such as wells.
These structures are used to help control the grade in natural and artificial channels. They may be used where the concentration and velocity of water requires a structure to stabilize the grade in the channel or to control gully erosion. These structures are designed to reduce the amount of sediment delivered to local streams and rivers.
A natural drainageway is graded and shaped to form a smooth, bowl-shaped channel. This area is seeded to sod-forming grasses. Runoff water that flows down the drainageway flows across the grass rather than tearing away soil and forming a larger gully. An outlet is often installed at the base of the drainageway to stabilize the waterway and prevent a new gully from forming.
Wetlands filter and collect sediment from runoff water, slow overland flow and store runoff water, they reduce both soil erosion and flooding downstream.