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Plan Targets Farmers in Three States to Reduce Lake Erie Algae

The federal government is offering a new round of incentives for farmers in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan in an effort to clean up Lake Erie. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday outlined the new program that will make $17.5 million available to farmers in the western Lake Erie watershed. Farmers will receive payments for taking steps to reduce the pollutants feeding the algae in the lake. The algae produce the kind of toxins that contaminated Toledo's water supply last August. The program is entirely voluntary. The USDA will work with farmers to reduce their field runoff by developing plans that could include planting strips of grass or cover crops that help the soil absorb and filer pollutants.