July 5, 1999 | By: Mark Eclov

Two new best management practices (BMPs) were recently adopted by the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority. One relates to properly locating poultry production facilities. The other updates a BMP that provides guidelines for producers who use commercial fertilizers or animal manure to fertilize row crops or pastureland.

"Producers who have a poultry operation and use the chicken litter for fertilizer will need to review and comply with the guidelines of both BMPs," said Jennifer Cocanougher, Extension associate in water quality in the UK College of Agriculture.

Livestock BMP number 11 (Nutrient Management) should be used by produces who use commercial fertilizers and/or animal manure to fertilize their row crops or pastureland. It replaces the current crops BMPs for nutrient management and waste utilization.

It requires a nutrient mangement plan that includes testing the soil and manure to insure that the fertilizer is meeting the needs of the soil, managing manure in a manner that prevents degradation of soil, air or water, and properly storing poultry waste for no more than 30 days using NRCS specifications for temporary storage.

Livestock number 17 (Poultry Facility Siting and Land Application of Poultry Waster By Products) has specific requirements for poultry producers and those using poultry litter.

This BMP includes specifics such as the minimum number of acres required to site a commercial poultry house and minimum land application distances from dwellings and water sources.

The Kentucky Division of Conservation will be distributing official copies of these best management practices to county offices. Local conservation districts will also pass the information along to producers who have filed self-certification forms.

A total of 60 BMPs have been developed by the Kentucky Water Quality Authority since 1994. They have been compiled in workbook from county offices of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Division of Conservation.

These local offices have a number of tools available to farmers that will make developing a water quality plan an easy process. "The primary intent of these practices is to protect Kentucky's ground and surface waters from run-off pollution," added Cocanougher. Over 200 people representing government, education and specialist interest groups compiled and then fined-tuned these various farm management practices to fit Kentucky's specific geography.

Much of the information came from scientifically proven practices developed by USDA research and through land-grant institutions such as the University of Kentucky.


Writer: Mark Eclov (606) 257-7223
Source: Jennifer Cocanhougher 606-257-6094