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Agricultural BMPs An Educator’s Guide. What are Agricultural BMPs? Best Management Practices An approach to help farmers reduce or eliminate agricultural.

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Presentation on theme: "Agricultural BMPs An Educator’s Guide. What are Agricultural BMPs? Best Management Practices An approach to help farmers reduce or eliminate agricultural."— Presentation transcript:

1 Agricultural BMPs An Educator’s Guide

2 What are Agricultural BMPs? Best Management Practices An approach to help farmers reduce or eliminate agricultural pollution without causing economic disruption to farms.

3 Why are BMPs important? Help control and reduce non-point source pollutants Reduce surface run-off Provide farmers with safe alternatives to the use of fertilizers

4 Non-Point Source Pollutants that have no traceable origin of entry into the water supply Costly to control What are NPS pollutants?

5 What is Agricultural Run-off? Surface water that drains from farm fields due to heavy rainfall and melting snow. Contains organic waste from animals and fertilizers.

6 Pollutants of Agricultural Run-off Nutrients Pathogens Sediments Toxic waste

7 Nutrients Substances that help plants and animals live and grow. Located in the surface water run-off Contains ammonium, phosphate, and nitrate compounds. Found in fertilizers and animal waste These nutrients in the water promote eutrophication. The dissolved oxygen level decreases. The result is the death of the fish and other aquatic life.

8 Pathogens Disease causing microorganisms present in human and animal waste Most pathogens are bacteria and viruses 178 samples, 108 sample sites 30% of samples < 100 Enterococcus/100 ml 48% of Samples < 200 Enterococcus /100 ml 82% of Samples < 500 Enterococcus /100 ml 18% of Samples > 500 Enterococcus /100 ml Coldwater Creek

9 Sediments Soil particles from fallow fields carried to lakes, rivers, bays, and ponds

10 Toxic Wastes Are chemicals such as pesticides which cause human and wildlife health problems Runoff collection

11 Some solutions to agricultural run- off Filter strips: rows of plantings that are designed specifically to remove pollutants from runoff from sheet flow of adjacent land through filtering and infiltration Biosolids: a natural fertilizer that is processed at a wastewater plant. Provides slow release of nutrients. Biosolids application

12 UWF/USDA PROJECT To educate teachers and students about the importance of agricultural run-off A grant is provided through the USDA Introduce the techniques and the applications of research to the discovery of pollutants on land and water Science teachers in training, Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, FL

13 Project Overview Research Projects Comparison of biosolids to inorganic fertilizer application on Bahia Grass pasture- runoff water quality, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, and grass yield. Watershed analysis of nutrient and fecal sources Escambia River Coldwater Creek Pond Creek Aquaculture pond overflow grass strip BMP analysis nutrients, organics, oxygen demand, microbiology Row Crop BMPs and runoff quality

14 Education Summer Camp 2004

15 Vocabulary Words Aquaculture: the growing of aquatic plants and animals for food or other purposes Biosolids: solid or semisolid material obtained from treatment wastewater, often used as fertilizers. Dissolved oxygen: concentration of oxygen dissolved in water Eutrophication: when high level of nutrients are located in lakes or ponds, this reduces the dissolved oxygen content and causes death to fish and other inhabitants Field capacity: moisture content of a soil after the gravitational water has drained away Grant: money that has been applied for by organizations to help in development and/or research Organic: any food grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides


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