Monday Night
55°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
38%
Tuesday
72°
Partly Sunny
10%
Tuesday Night
54°
Partly Cloudy
16%
Wednesday
70°
Partly Sunny
15%
Wednesday Night
51°
Mostly Clear
10%
Thursday
74°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
19%
Thursday Night
61°
Chance Thunderstorms
46%
Friday
78°
Chance Thunderstorms
50%
Friday Night
61°
Chance Thunderstorms
54%
Saturday
74°
Chance Thunderstorms
37%
Saturday Night
56°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
21%
3 Day
Extended
Friday, January 14th, 2011

Nutrient management plans started

By Nancy Allen
Thirty-two percent of the roughly 270 farms in the Grand Lake Watershed in Mercer and Auglaize counties now have nutrient management plans, Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) board members learned Thursday.
Two nutrient management technicians hired recently to implement new manure rules for the Grand Lake Watershed have been reviewing the plans, district administrator/education specialist Nikki Hawk said.
Another 18 percent are either pending, in progress or already in place because they are for large, state-permitted livestock farms that were already required to have them.
The new manure rules were spurred by the poor condition of Grand Lake. The lake was nearly shut down by the state this summer because of blue-green algae blooms, which are fed by phosphorous, found in manure.
Of the 20 new manure rules, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will not be able to require two of those - one that requires watershed farmers to have nutrient management plans and another banning manure application between Dec. 15 and March 1 - until the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission places a "distressed" designation on the Grand Lake Watershed. The commission is expected to meet Tuesday to take that action, Hawk said.
"The reason they (nutrient management technicians) were brought on is to implement the rules related to watersheds in distress," Hawk said. "Though it has not been designated yet, we went ahead and started the process by documenting all the (nutrient management) plans because we expect the distressed designation to come."
The manure spreading ban would be phased in over the next two years, during which time farmers would be required to follow what are currently voluntary best management practices. The complete ban between those dates would become affective Jan. 18, 2013.
Also on Thursday the SWCD board:
• Reviewed the district's annual plan of work for 2011, adding wording that states the district will implement new watershed manure rules, update the SWCD's website at least once a month and omit printing newsletters to save money.
• Reorganized the board for 2011, appointing Kevin Bettinger, chairman; Nick Renner, vice chairman; Rick Muhlenkamp, secretary; Bob Pohlman, treasurer; and Bob Guggenbiller, public relations officer.
• Appointed Pohlman as the Mercer SWCD board's representative to the Loramie Valley Alliance board, Muhlenkamp as the representative to the Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed Alliance joint board and Guggenbiller to the Resource Conservation and Development Council board.
• Kept its regular monthly meetings the second Thursday of each month at 8 a.m. at the SWCD office in Celina.
Additional online stories on this date
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize Acres Nursing Home was one of only 16 nursing homes in the state to receive a 100 percent on a survey by the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA). [More]
ST. MARYS -The St. Marys girls basketball team worked out the kinks from a dismal first half to rally past rival Celina in Western Buckeye League play on Thursday night. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Six finalists selected for village's top position
County seeks applicants for community projects
Parkway hires new head coach
Public may attend forum on possible fire truck buy
Gardening basics revisited
Local churchinvites area teens to attend Thaw Out
Bulldogs capture a pair of WBL wins
Fort Recovery slips past Coldwater
Minster girls run unbeaten mark to 11-0