Approximately 85 percent of the qualifying livestock farmers in the Grand Lake St. Marys watershed have submitted their nutrient management plans, in accordance with  the Watershed in Distress Rules developed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Of the submitted plans, 132 area farmers exceeded that requirement by completing the more detailed comprehensive nutrient management plan.

“As a Mercer County native and farmer, I truly appreciate the work that so many livestock farmers have done to complete their comprehensive nutrient management plans,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Their efforts to create effective solutions to prevent manure runoff and manage their nutrients will be a key component in protecting the future health of Grand Lake St. Marys.”

The Mercer and Auglaize Soil and Water Conservation Districts and ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources staff have been working with farmers over the past two years to complete comprehensive nutrient management plans. As a result of the rules implemented by ODNR, qualifying livestock farmers within the watershed have been required to complete a nutrient management plan that describes how they will manage their manure in order to prevent nutrient runoff into Grand Lake St. Marys.

All final paperwork for nutrient management plans is due by Dec. 15. However, since Dec. 15 falls on a Saturday this year, the deadline will be extended to no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17.

Farmers who are required to submit a nutrient management plan and fail to do so will receive a notice of their violation and may be subject to orders issued by the chief of the Division of Soil and Water Resources, which could result in court action against a farmer not in compliance with the rules. Farmers seeking assistance with completing their plans may contact Terry Mescher or Frances Springer at 419-586-3289.

Logo courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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