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Minutes - June 13, 2013

State Technical Committee
June 13, 2013

Welcome/Group Introductions - Michelle Lohstroh, Acting State Conservationist

  • Released two tools on our web site for farmers to use to see the impacts on soil health.
  • Comet 2.0 is a user-friendly, web-based tool that provides estimates of carbon sequestration and net greenhouse gas emissions from soils and biomass.
  • Water quality tool is a web-based tool to see what the impacts are for nutrient reduction benefits to water quality. 
  • Web site has been redone to include 508 compliance for handicap accessibility.
  • Meeting is recorded today for transcribing.

NRCS Program Information/Updates - Barb Baker, Asst. State Conservationist for Natural Resources

Wetlands Reserve Program

  • Sign-up period is closed; 617 acres available to enroll this year which is half of last year. 
  • Currently ranking applications; 160 applications. 

Grassland Reserve Program

  • Joint program with Farm Service Agency; received $1 million for rentals only. 
  • Currently ranking applications.

Healthy Forest Reserve Program

  • Only offered in St. Joseph Watershed (Defiance and Williams Counties).
  • Application deadline is June 21, 2013.

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

  • Currently in sign-up period; application deadline – July 31, 2013. 

EQIP - Edge of Field Monitoring

  • Sign-up deadline is June 14, 2013.
  • Only available in Mercer, Delaware, and Hancock Counties.

National Water Quality Initiative

  • NRCS allocated $350,000.  The application cutoff date has been set for close of business (COB) June 21, 2013. 
  • Offered in three watersheds:
  • Brandywine Creek-Broken Sword Creek Watershed (Crawford County) .
  • East Branch South Fork Sugar Creek Watershed (Tuscarawas and Holmes Counties).
  • Fivemile Creek - East Fork Little Miami River Watershed (Clermont and Brown Counties).

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - Phosphorus Priority

  • $2.6 million to spend in the Phosphorus Priority Area; July 1, 2013, sign-up deadline.
  • The counties in Ohio that have land in all or part of these watersheds include: Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Marion, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot.

NRCS Program Information/Updates - Dot Harris – Assistant State Conservationist for Programs

Conservation Security Program

  • Sign-up ends June 14, 2013; currently, 82 applications; 5-year contract; program has improved.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

  • EQIP subcommittee will meet in August to discuss 2014 program and the following:
  • Livestock subaccount for confinement operations. 
  • Redistributing funds across the State.
  • Screening tool – looking at one screening tool for all applications.
  • Expand the watersheds for the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) next year to have an impact on the water quality.
  • Match the CSP regions (three regions) of the State with the EQIP regions (4 regions).

The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM)

  • New requirement with the government.
  • A Data Universal Numbering  System (DUNS) number and SAM number (via the System for Award Management, www.sam.gov web site) are required for participants applying as an “entity” using their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), regardless of the dollar amount.
  • Individuals do not need DUNS or SAM numbers.  Individuals use social security numbers.
  • Web sites that charge money are scams.  There are no costs for DUNS or SAM numbers.

FSA Program Information/Updates - Brandi Koehler, Conservation Programs Chief

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

  • Currently having a general sign-up which ends June 14, 2013.
  • Continuous sign-up is also open.
  • 300,018 acres enrolled.  Number decreases each day.
  • Would like to keep 50 percent of the CRP acres that are expiring this year.
  • Increased soil rental rates (effective May 13, 2013).

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

  • Sign-up ended June 3, 2013; currently ranking applications; received over 100.

CP38 – State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE)

  • Grassland & Wetland complex acres - 3,848 approved; 13,900 goal.
  • Pheasant acres approved - 6,100; 28,700 goal.

Conservation Standards – Mike Monnin, State Conservation Engineer

  • Edge-of-Field monitoring conservation activities (Code 201 and Code 202) – concurred/approved. 
  • Group concurred with adding the draft interim standard 747 – Denitrifying Bioreactor to Ohio practice list.
  • Reviewed handout listing of additions and revisions to standards.  Concurred/approved.
  • Standards are on NRCS web site under the Technical Guide, Section IV.
  • Send any comments to Mike Monnin at mike.monnin@oh.usda.gov

Informational presentations:

  • Tools for Addressing Natural Resources Concerns in Drainage Channels – Jon Witter, OSU
  • 4R Certification – Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, The Nature Conservancy

For copy of presentations, contact jane.aycock@oh.usda.gov

Next meeting date scheduled for September 5, 2013.

Jane Aycock, Recorder