Best Management Practices

Barnyard Runoff Control System

The use of structural measures such as gutters, downspouts and diversions to intercept and redirect surface runoff around the barnyard, feeding area or farmstead, and collect, convey and temporarily store runoff from the barnyard, feeding area or farmstead.

Conservation Tillage

A system of crop production that is designed to minimize soil disturbance while maintaining the previous year’s crop residue on or near the soil surface and minimize the number of field operations.

Manure Storage System

A manure storage system is an impoundment made by constructing an embankment, excavating a pit or dugout, or by fabricating a structure to temporarily contain manure and other animal or agricultural wastes.  These systems protect water quality by preventing runoff from animal lots, cutting fertilizer costs and preventing nutrient losses in agricultural fields, and allowing for manure to be safely stockpiled until conditions are environmentally safe for spreading.

Nutrient Management Plan

A Nutrient Management Plan is a tool to increase the efficiency of all the nutrient sources your crop uses while reducing production and environmental risk, ultimately increasing profit . . .

Rain Gardens

What is a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens are landscaped areas planted with wild flowers and other native vegetation that soak up rain water from the roof of a house or other building. After a storm, the rain garden fills up with a few inches of water and slowly infiltrates into the soil. This reduces the amount of water running off the ground . . .

Shoreline Habitat Restoration

The practice of restoring the healthy transition between land and water.  This would consist of a shoreland buffer zone typically 20-35 ft. wide which is a mixture of native species that include grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees.

Soil Health

A cover crop is grass, legume, forb or other herbaceous plant that are established for seasonal cover and conservational purposes. The practice may be used to reduce wind or water erosion by establishing cover after a minimal residue crop. Cover crops are planted to use up excess nutrients in the soil profile, for weed suppression, to provide nutrients to the next crop, to increase carbon sequestration and improve soil structure. They are excellent tools for helping to improve soil health.

Streambank and Shoreline Protection

Vegetation, rock, or structures used to stabilize and protect the banks of streams, lakes, estuaries or excavated channels against scour and erosion and reduce sediment delivery to the water body.

Waterway System

A natural or constructed drainageway or channel shaped, graded and established in suitable cover as needed to prevent erosion by runoff waters.

Well Abandonment

Old wells that are left open and/or unused are at risk of having contaminants enter into them and into the groundwater.  Old drilled wells can develop cracks in the steel casing that can let contaminants through...... [continue reading]

Wetland Restoration

Construction of berms or the destruction of tile line or drainage ditch functions to create conditions suitable for wetland vegetation.