Making Sense Out of Soil $aving$

A Pay for Performance Grant

What does Pay for Performance mean? 

This grant pays participants for the tons of soil saved not a flat incentive payment.  Participants enrolling in one of the Best Management Practices known for controlling or reducing soil losses are paid $10.00 per ton.  The Best Management Practices focused on in this grant include:

Winter Cover Crops Plantings - Planting Winter cover crops holds the topsoil in place over winter.  Other benefits of Winter Cover Crops can be to: increase infiltration, reduce runoff, and reduce compaction.  500 acre annual maximum per farm operation.

Conservation Cropping/Tillage - A change in crop rotation, tillage or residue management that improves upon the current cropping system can also reduce soil losses.  100 acre annual maximum per farm operation.

Tile Main Repairs/Replacement - This practice is to assist in the repair or replacement of tile main washouts which leave direct flow of surface runoff into broken tile mains that drain directly to ditches, creeks or rivers.  This direct flow carries not only eroded soil, but nutrients and chemicals to our waters that would otherwise have filtered through the soil or remained on the surface for proper uptake.  The repaired area is required to be followed by a Winter Cover Crop to stabilize the area.  4 Tile main areas are being sought.

Streambank Stabilization - This practice is available to anyone owning land along a water course within the Sandusky River -Tiffin sub-watersheds.  Eroding streambanks contribute some of the highest amounts of soil loss to our waters and cause property damage from cutting banks. Stabilization projects are sought for one or both sides of a stream.

Redlined Waterways - Waterways no longer eligible for USDA funding still need upkeep and care.  This program is to assist with the repair of such waterways to repair gully washing which contributes to soil erosion.  Payments for this practice are based on the infiltration rate of the primary soil type with incentive rates as follows:  

  • High Infiltration - $9.00 per ton
  • Moderate Infiltration - $10.00 per ton
  • Slow Infiltration - $11.00 per ton
  • Very Slow Infiltration - $12.00 per ton


For additional information or to sign up for a practice contact - Kendall Stucky at the Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District at 419-447-7073.

Why Pay for Soil Savings?

As taxpayers we pay in many ways for the soil erosion that occurs within our watershed and from other watersheds as well.  This program is to show that economically it makes more sense and is cheaper in the long run to pay to hold soil in place than to remove it from problem spots later.  Here are a few examples of how it costs all of us if it is not kept on the land where it belongs:

  • To dredge Sandusky Bay (only within the shipping channel) taxpayers pay an average of $18.51 per ton.
  • As taxpayers we are paying for the dredging of Toledo Harbor/Maumee Bay also at an average cost of $20.91 per ton.

Calculations based on figures provided by the US Army Corp. of Engineers.

Those in our municipalities are also paying to remove sediment so they have clean drinking water.  The City of Fremont assisted in the calculations which show it costs them $193.15 to remove a ton of soil from drinking water.  They remove on average 1 ton per day. 

Interested in learning more?  Contact the watershed office.

Funding provided by:



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