Due to a late harvest and adverse weather conditions, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is extending the 2021 H2Ohio Program deadline for planting overwintering cover crops, including those following small grains, and manure incorporation. With the recent expansion, all 24 counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin are now included in the H2Ohio Program.
H2Ohio producers enrolled in any of the 24-county areas will have until November 1, 2021, to plant their overwintering cover crops and complete all manure incorporation requirements.
ODA recommends adjusting seeding rates to reduce the risk of planting failure. According to the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Appendix A, seeding rates should be increased by 20% due to the later planting date. The Appendix A document is located at https://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/references/public/OH/Appendix_A_cover_crop_11_19_19_2.pdf. Additionally, a helpful link to the Midwest Cover Crop Council decision tool on selecting fall cover crops on a county by county basis is located at www.midwestcovercrops.org. The link is under the “Selector Tool” tab.
For manure incorporation, all H2Ohio practices must be met. Additionally, requirements established in the nutrient management standard (NRCS 590) must be followed. Producers are required to reduce application rates of manure to reflect soil moisture conditions, per NRCS 590. Manure application on wet soils increases the potential for runoff. For more information on the NRCS 590 Technical Guide, please complete a 590 document search by state at https://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/#/state/OH for the technical guide.
For more information about the H2Ohio Program or the extended deadline to plant cover crops, please contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District or check out the link https://h2.ohio.gov/agriculture/ for your county SWCD office link.