Excerpts from a recent Daily Standard article by Nancy Allen:
- All livestock farms in the Grand Lake Watershed must have nutrient management plans Monday and more than a dozen have failed to file.
- Fourteen of the 156 livestock operations in the area would have failed to meet the original deadline, today. The state gave the extension because the original date fell on a Saturday.
- Local officials called the effort by local farmers an achievement.
- A nutrient management plan details how a farmer proposes to manage his manure to prevent runoff into waterways. Grand Lake Watershed farmers were mandated to complete the plans after the state imposed new rules to help curb toxic algae blooms in the lake.
- The 156 livestock operations represent 270 farms.
- Just 25 percent of the 46,000 crop acres were covered by plans a few years ago. Now, 85 percent are covered.
- Farmers now must prove they have enough acres for manure application and test their soil to show how much, if any, manure needs applied to grow crops. The plan mandates farmers map their manure applications on all acres based on which crops they grow each year.
- The plans and soil tests must be updated every three years, and a manure analysis is required every year. One manure sample per storage structure and one soil sample per 25 acres is required at the farmer's cost.
- Farmers also must keep records on manure storage volumes and when and where they haul manure and weather forecasts when they apply it.
- The state only approves plans that show a farm's nutrients are balanced and do not exceed specified levels.
- A series of workshops on implementing nutrient management plans will be held in January, February and March.
This is an excellent, comprehensive article that includes local farmer reactions. Follow the link below to get the full story.