The Ohio Working Lands Small Grain Program encourages producers to plant small grains for conservation benefits as well as provide livestock producers a longer time period to land apply manure and nutrients. Livestock producers are encouraged to work with neighboring grain farmers that are able to utilize manure as a source of nutrients for their crops.

Participants can plant and harvest small grains, land apply manure, and plant a cover crop to receive a cost-share payment through funding from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to help offset operating costs. Cost-share payments are available up to $75 per acre. Our staff will assist landowners with becoming a part of the program.

With the fall, winter, and now spring that we are experiencing, this is a great opportunity to apply manure sooner rather than later (plus receive some cash!). That being said…

What are the Benefits?

  • Planting small grains and cover crops can be beneficial to soil health.
  • Expanding the time period to land apply manure and nutrients can minimize the risk of nutrient runoff.
  • “Working Lands” programs maintain a level of agriculture production while providing conservation benefits.
  • Cost-share incentive payments


  1. A small grain must be planted and harvested. Eligible small grains include: wheat, barley, oats, cereal rye, spelt, and triticale.
  2. The land must be used for manure application following the harvest of the small grain.
  3. A cover crop must be planted following the manure application.
  4. Manure application records are required prior to any cost-share payment.
  5. Current soil tests and manure analysis are required.

For more information or to apply contact Bret Margraf at or (419) 447-7073.

About Sarah Schott

I have enjoyed hunting, fishing, and the outdoors my entire life. My enjoyment of writing, reading, and teaching others leads me to want to share my passions of the environment. I have also found conservation to be very important and I am well aware of how important conservation choices are! Through my work with the District, I like to deliver information that is helpful, inspiring, and challenging for our readers to make even better conservation choices of all our natural resources!

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