August 30, 2000 | By: Laura Skillman

Farmers have a little more than a year to complete their agriculture water quality plan and to be using it.

With that in mind, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is continuing to work with farmers to ensure they meet their deadline.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed the Agriculture Water Quality Act in 1994 which requires farmers to have a plan in place that addresses how their specific operations will be run to ensure that the state's water sources are not polluted.

A statewide plan was developed first that includes a series of practices called best management practices (BMPs) that farmers should utilize for various enterprises. Farmers must have individualized plans in place by Oct. 2001 or they may be subjected to penalties.

Some of these practices include conservation tillage, grassed waterways, and rotational grazing.

A recent Muhlenberg County field day highlighted some of the best management practices being implemented on a local farm. Darrell Simpson, county extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, said the event was to show farmers who have yet to write the plans that it does not have to be over burdensome. Many farmers are already using some of the BMPs required by the state plan, he said.

Curt Judy, Todd County extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, agrees.

"Basically, what we find is people have everything in place, it is just a matter of documenting it," he said.

Simpson said he is encouraging farmers yet to complete their water quality plan to do so soon and not wait until closer to the deadline. He also reminds farmers that the plan is to be implemented, not simply written by that date.

Waiting too long to write a plan, may make it difficult to implement in a timely manner.

Farmers who need assistance or information concerning water quality plans, can contact their local county Extension office.


Darrell Simpson, (270) 338-3124; Curt Judy, (270) 265-5659