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Nutrient Management

The 4 R's

Right Source

    Matches Fertilizer type to crop needs.

Right Rate

    Matches amount of fertilizer to crop needs.

Right Time

    Makes nutrients available when crops need them.

Right Place

    Keep nutrients where crops can use them.

But what does all of this mean for a crop producer?  This means that regardless of what type of fertilizer you are applying your application decision should be based on current soil test data, weather, crop type, and incorporation of fertilizer into the soil.  Calibrations should be made to ensure the proper rate is going in at all times.  Even manure application equipment can be calibrated to ensure over application should not occur.

Become 4R Certified

Fertilizer Retailers

Agricultural retailers can become 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified.  Certification is conducted by an independent auditor to remove bias and ensure that the 4 R's are taking place accurately and accordingly.  Learn more here.


Farmers interested in nutrient management can contact Butler SWCD for a free nutrient management plan.  Nutrient management plans provided by soil and water are created through an Ohio Dept. of Ag program.  Soil tests must be at most 3 years old and provided to us by the farmer.  Producers who follow their plan receive some form of legal protection that covers them in the case of an alleged ag pollution violation.  This free consultation is totally confidential. (ODA Nutrient Management plans do not meet the requirements for NRCS EQIP applications)


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today unveiled H2Ohio, a comprehensive, data-driven water quality plan to reduce harmful algal blooms, improve wastewater infrastructure, and prevent lead contamination.


“We have a moral obligation to preserve and protect our natural resources,” Governor DeWine said during a speech at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo. “My H2Ohio plan is a dedicated, holistic water quality strategy with long-lasting solutions to address the causes of Ohio’s water problems, not just the symptoms.”


Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio plan is an investment in targeted solutions to help reduce phosphorus runoff and prevent algal blooms through increased implementation of agricultural best practices and the creation of wetlands; improve wastewater infrastructure; replace failing home septic systems; and prevent lead contamination in high-risk daycare centers and schools. The Ohio General Assembly invested $172 million in the plan in July, and since then, H2Ohio experts have been developing strategies for long-term, cost-effective, and permanent water quality solutions. (Credit Ohio Department of Agriculture)

What does this mean for Butler County?

Since H2Ohio funding won't be available to counties outside of the Lake Erie Basin until 2022 Butler SWCD staff are busy doing watershed inventories.  Taking note on livestock numbers, miles of stream, types of impairment, urbanizing areas, hard surfaces, controlled runoff and much more.  All of this in preparation to best use the funding in the areas that need it most.

Learn more about H2Ohio here.

Ag Pollution Abatement

What is agricultural pollution? 

Agricultural pollution is animal manure or sediment that leaves a field and enters waters of the state.  Manure applied or soil tilled before a rain or snow storm can potentially leave a field and pollute a body of water.

For complaints about Agricultural Pollution in Ohio please contact the Butler Soil and Water Conservation District at 513-887-3720

If you are an agricultural producer who wants to know how they can stay compliant with these new rules please call our Rural Specialist, Brady Smith at 513-785-6663

For more information on statutes and rules click here.

Making a Complaint

Information provided in a complaint may be used by ODA to investigate and potentially seek penalties for violations of law.  Therefore, the information provided must be true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. ODA will use the information you provide to determine whether an investigation is warranted.

Please have the following information available:

  • A description of the alleged violation (ex: manure pollution from a manure application, manure application during prohibited conditions, sediment pollution, pollution from an animal feeding operation, etc.)

  • A description of the possible pollutant (ex: liquid manure, solid manure, sediment, etc.)

  • The location. In rural areas a street address is not always available. Please identify the nearest intersection and directions (ex: about ¼ mile west of the intersection of State Route 1 and Township Road B on the south side of the road.) 

  • The body of water being polluted, if applicable. Most of the agriculture pollution rules require pollution to waters of the state for a violation to occur. Waters of the state could be a stream, lake, pond, wetland, watercourse, waterway, well, spring, irrigation system, drainage system or other bodies or accumulations of water, surface and underground. Please be prepared to identify what water is being polluted (ex: the Scioto River, the ditch along the south side of Township Road B, etc.) 

  • The date and time that you observed the potential violation.

Who investigates the complaint?

The Division of Soil and Water Conservation works with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to investigate and enforce the agricultural pollution laws. After receiving a complaint that alleges a violation of agricultural pollution laws, the Division or the local Soil and Water Conservation District will typically perform an investigation within three business days.

Are you witnessing an environmental emergency?

An environmental emergency is an immediate and significant threat to public health and/or the environment due to the release of materials to the environment. If you are witnessing an emergency that requires immediate response, please report it immediately to Ohio EPA’s 24-hour spill hotline at 1-800-282-9378 or 614-224-0946. Ohio EPA’s Environmental Response Unit is a specialized group of staff stationed throughout Ohio who can respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Can I remain anonymous?

You do not have to provide any personal information for the Division of Soil and Water Conservation to review your complaint. However, by providing your name and contact information, ODA will be able to contact you to clarify information or gather additional information from you to help investigate your concerns.  All the information submitted, including your contact information may be considered public information and may be released upon request.

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