District Programs


Springtime means: Time for Manure Application Reminders

As the weather warms up and rainfall increases this time of year, it's time to remind producers and nutrient applicators of year-round laws and restrictions on manure application in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

  • When the local weather forecast for the application area contains a greater than 50% chance of precipitation exceeding 1/2 - inch in a 24 hour period.
  • Producers are responsible to research and make a copy of a local forecast or the 24-hour precipitation forecast.  Other verifiable sources of weather prediction are acceptable.
  • When the top 2 inches of the soil are saturated from precipitation; on snow-covered or frozen soil.

Restrictions do not apply if:

  • The manure is injected into the ground;
  • Manure is incorporated within 24 hours of surface application, using a tillage tool operated at a minimum depth of 3-4 inches;
  • The manure is applied onto a growing crop;
  • The Chief of the ODA, Division of Soil & Water Conservation has provided written consent for an emergency application. Contact the Division in case of an emergency.

Producers not in the WLEB are to use BMP's when applying manure and follow USDA/NRCS FIeld Office Technical Guide Standard 590.  Use the Ohio Applicator Forecast which gives substantial information when making nutrient application decisions.

Fish Orders being Accepted

Do you have a pond that needs stocked?  We are now taking orders for bass, blue gill, channel catfish, minnow and white amur until April 20.  Payment cash/check is expected at time of placing the order.  Delivery to SWCD is on Monday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m.  See order form below in Downloads section.

SWCD Scholarship Available

 Van Wert SWCD is offering one $500 scholarship to a student studying agriculture, natural resources or closely related fields at any Ohio college or university during the 2019/2020 academic year.  Recipient of the scholarship need to have completed their freshman year in college, and must be a Van Wert County resident.

Scholarship applications must be received at the SWCD by May 8.  Applications will be reviewed and announced in June.  Scholarship money will be sent to the recipient's college at the beginning of the academic year.

Criteria for determining the recipient will be area of study, grades, activities, leadership, and commitment to conservation.  The SWCD reserves the right to refuse any applications not meeting requirements.  

Application and two reference forms need to be received at the SWCD office by May 8.

Application can be downloaded below.

Funding Available to WLEB Farmers to Improve Water Quality

ODA in partnership with the SWCD is providing funding for new assistance programs for farmers to help protect water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie.  The Ohio Working Lands Program will encourage producers to establish year-round vegetative cover on eligible crop land.  The program will promote conversion, establishment and maintenance of forage/hay land on certain cropland acres.

Van Wert SWCD staff will assist landowners on putting together a plan for installing buffers.  Landowners will be eligible to receive up to $120 per acre for a 5-year contract. The goal of the program is to reduce nutrients entering Ohio waterways to lessen harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. 

Working Lands - Small Grain Program

A voluntary program that encourages producers in the Western Lake Erie Basin to plant small grains such as wheat, barley, oats, or cereal rye on eligible crop land. As the "working lands" implies, participants must plant and harvest small grains, land apply manure, and plant a cover crop to receive a cost-share payment to help offset operating costs. The program benefits the planting of small grains not only for the conservation benefits, but to provide livestock producers with a longer application window to land apply manure and nutrients.  Landowners will receive $75 per acre cost-share. 

Long Term Water Quality Study


Since 1989, water samples have been collected from Town Creek, area municipalities and rural wells on a regular basis. They are tested for nitrates, phosphates, and pesticides. 

The results show that Van Wert County is fortunate to have quality water available. Funding for this program has been provided by the Van Wert County Foundation and will ensure continued monitoring and protection of our water in the future.