New website addresses and outlines best management practices

A new website (agbmps.osu.edu/) has been launched that is designed to help landowners and operators use visual clues in the landscape or management records to identify fields or stream/ditches where targeted practices can reduce erosion and nutrient losses that impair Ohio watersheds.

Private and public dollars available to address erosion and nutrient loss concerns from agricultural production fields are limited. The intent of this website is to empower farmers/landowners with the knowledge necessary to identify the high risk situations that exist in their farm fields and the ability to know when to seek professional help for implementing cost effective conservation. This website provides a summary of “Critical Concerns” found in the landscape and in agronomic farm plans, a review of potential “Best Management Practices (BMPs)”, and a list of resources and people/agencies to contact.

Website pages include:

Critical Concerns — Pictures and descriptions of critical resource concerns to use in identification plus links to potential BMP’s that address those concerns.

BMP practices — A listing of all BMP practices with descriptions, effectiveness, pros and cons of the practice, things to consider and contacts for further inquiry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)- Answers to common questions and helpful background information.

 Submit — A place to submit pictures of critical concerns or BMP’s in action to add to the website or questions for FAQ.

People — Contacts for people and organizations available to assist in answering questions or seeking cost share.

A website provides a vehicle that can be used in the field on mobile devices plus is easily updated with new information on cost of implementation, effectiveness of practices to address water quality and other factors as new research is made available. Comments and pictures are being sought to continue to improve this resources.

The website has been made possible by funding from Ohio State University Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, with input from Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy and funding from Ohio Soybean Council, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

If question or suggestions on the website contact Greg LaBarge, labarge.1@osu.edu.

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