The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI) is an innovative, collaborative effort of the agricultural, conservation, environmental and research communities to improve water quality by establishing a baseline understanding of current conservation and nutrient management efforts while building farmer participation in a new certification program.
OACI supports Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio plan and has outlined initial steps to address the complexities of Ohio’s water quality.
For the first time, a diverse group of partners in agriculture, environmental, and academia have come together to gather critical information, identify best management practices and propose technical solutions to address water quality challenges in Ohio and the Western Lake Erie Basin.
OACI was formed to accomplish two key goals:
- Assess farm practices in Ohio to better understand current on-farm conservation and nutrient management efforts.
- Create a new, voluntary certification program for farmers to promote continuous improvement and increase the adoption of best management practices to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
Participating farms in H2Ohio will be evaluated in the following categories: soil testing, nutrient application, nutrient placement, on-field management and structural practices.
Each participant will record the number of acres involved in each scoring category.
As a result, participants will then be given a score for each category and an aggregated overall score that will determine their certification level.