Best Management Practices

Cover Crop

A small grain or legume crop planted in the fall to recover unused plant nutrients from the root zone, control soil erosion and improve the soil.

Critical Area Planting

Planting grasses or other vegetation to protect a severly eroding area from soil erosion.

Pasture Planning

Planting grasses or legumes to improve forage production, improve livestock nutrition, protect the soil from erosion and improve water quality.

Riparian Buffer

Trees, shrubs or grasses planted next to waterways including rivers, streams and drainage ditches to filter runoff, improve water quality, protect the soil from erosion and provide wildlife habitat.

Windbreaks For Poultry Houses

Trees and shrubs planted near poultry houses to improve air quality, create visual screens, protect against winter winds and provide shade.

Dead Bird Composting Facility

A roofed structure designed for composting the normal daily accumulation of dead birds from a poultry operation.

Diversion

A long earthen embankment built across the slope to direct runoff water from a specific area.

Grade Control Structure

Earthen, wooden, concrete or other structure built across a drainageway or gully to control and reduce water flow.

Grassed Waterway

Shaping and establishing grass in a natural drainageway to prevent gullies from forming and control soil erosion.

Heavy Usea Area Protection

Stabilizing areas that are disturbed because of frequent and intensive use by livestock or farm equipment.

Livestock Watering System

A system of troughs and water lines to provide livestock with water from a spring, pond, well or other source.

Manure Storage Structure

These structures are used to store manure produced by poultry or livestock until conditions are right for field application or transport can be arranged.

Roof Runoff System

A system for collecting, controlling and disposing of runoff water from non-residential farm buildings.

Sinkhole Protection

A method of treating sinkholes to protect water quality by eliminating a direct channel for pollutants to enter groundwater.

Stream Protection

Protecting a stream by exluding livestock, stabilizing the stream channel and establishing vegetative buffer zones.

Terrace

An earthen ridge around a hillside that stops water flow and stores or guides water safely off a field.

Water Control Structure

A structure in a water management system or drainage channel that conveys water, controls the direction or rate of flow, maintains a desired water surface elevation or measures water.

Wetland Restoration

Restoring the water and plant community in a former or degraded wetland to improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat.

Contour Farming

Tillage, planting and other farming practices performed on or near the contour of the field--not up and down the hill.

Crop Residue Management

Leaving residue from the previous crop on the soil surface for a specific period of time by reducing tillage.

Crop Rotation

Changing the crops grown in a field on a regular basis.

Integrated Pest Management

Evaluating and using a tailored pest management system to reduce crop and environmental damages.

Manure Transport

Poultry and livestock producers transport excess manure off their farms as part of an animal waste management system and nutrient mangement plan.

Nutrient Management

Applying the correct amount and form of plant nutrients to achieve realistic crop yield goals while minimizing the movement of nutrients into surface waters and groundwater.

Rotational Grazing

Managing pasture grazing by moving livestock from one area to another at the proper time to maintain high quality forage.

Well Protection

Changing farming practices near the farmstead in order to reduce the risk of contaminating water sources, particularly domestic water supplies.

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This guide features 26 conservation practices - best management practices (BMPs) that farmers can use to

maintain farm production, control soil erosion, manage nutrients and

safeguard water quality.