The Lower Mississippi River Sub-basin Committee on Gulf Hypoxia is being formed as part of the Action Plan for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.* The states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee signed onto the Action Plan in October 2000. The LMR Sub-basin Committee will establish a process of communication and coordination aimed at the following efforts: 1.Supporting implementation of the Action Plan throughout the Mississippi River Basin, and working with other states to ensure federal funding for implementation; 2.Coordinating implementation of the Action Plan in the lower river basin. Under 2), states will work in a cooperative manner to: a. Compile information on nitrate/nutrient loading to the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River basins, and assess the impacts of federal and state programs aimed at reducing nitrate/nutrient loading; b. Coordinate interstate watershed programs that can improve water quality and reduce nutrient loading in the Lower Mississippi River sub-basin and connected smaller watersheds; c. Promote and coordinate complimentary regional and state efforts to improve water quality, such as the Lower Mississippi Valley Initiative (LMVI), the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, the Gulf of Mexico Program Nutrient Enrichment Focus team, and others. d. Establish an open process in which interested stakeholders, along with partner agencies and universities, can participate, and support water quality/nutrient reduction programs initiated by those participants.
Strategy document produced by the LMRSBC on Hypoxia outlining strategies for nutrient reduction. Strategies include setting reduction targets, establishing a baseline, identify opportunities to restore floodplain wetlands, detail needs for additional assistance to meet goals and promote additional funding.
Material available for various environmental concerns for poultry, including poultry litter, bmps, and sampling
Poultry production is Louisiana’s largest animal industry and its $1.5 billion contribution to the state’s economy makes it the second-largest segment of Louisiana’s agricultural industries. Commercial broilers are produced by 350 growers in 11 parishes including Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Sabine, Union, Vernon, Webster and Winn. There also are 580 commercial and small table egg producers in Louisiana housing more than 1 million egg-laying hens and producing more than 21 million dozen eggs. On-farm receipts from broiler production, breeder flocks and table egg production bring in nearly $812 million. Poultry processing and other value-added enterprises doubled this amount to nearly $1.9 billion. Poultry production represented the largest part of the $2.6 billion in economic contributions by animal agricultural industries in Louisiana for 2010. It ranks second only to forestry in its overall economic contribution to the state. Poultry production, by its nature, requires specific practices to conserve and protect soil and water resources. Best management practices (BMPs) have been determined to be an effective and practical means of reducing point and nonpoint-source water pollutants at levels compatible with environmental quality goals. The primary purpose for implementation of BMPs is to conserve and protect soil, water and air resources. BMPs for poultry farms are a specific set of practices used by farmers to reduce the amount of soil, nutrients, pesticides and microbial contaminants entering surface water and groundwater while maintaining or improving the productivity of agricultural land. This BMPs manual is a guide for the selection, implementation and management of those practices that will help poultry farmers conserve soil and protect water and air resources.
Through the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI), NRCS will work with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to manage portions of their land to enhance habitat for migrating birds. MBHI projects will benefit wildlife, landowners, and the environment for years to come. Projects provide food and critical habitat for bird populations; much-needed water during drought; support for local economies by attracting hunters and bird watchers; and new opportunities to improve wildlife management. The MBHI took flight during the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. This partnership effort is one of the most popular initiatives in NRCS history. Conservation-minded landowners who love wildlife offered more than 1 million acres for MBHI. More than 470,000 acres are now enrolled -- that's 3 times greater than anticipated! In fact, funding for the initiative had to be increased to $40 million to meet the demand. Participating states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. Eligible areas for FY 2012 MBHI include portions of 22 parishes across southern Louisiana. Funding will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and will be used for protecting, restoring, and enhancing migratory bird habitat.
Statewide, voluntary certification program designed to accelerate on-farm adoption of best-management practices (BMPs). The Certification program will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Other participating agencies include: State: Pollution Control Agency, Board of Water and Soil Resources, and Department of Natural Resources. Federal: U.S. Department of Agriculture –Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Farms are evaluated by third-party certifiers. Using a suite of BMP’s farmers develop a conservation plan. Farmers who attain and maintain the criteria for the program are certified as meeting State Water Quality Standards. Certification applicants are prioritized for federal and state technical assistance and implementation funding. Technical Advisory Committee to develop and implement, in consultation with stakeholders, a certification program that will support state and federal water quality standards and goals. Producers are concerned with uncertainty --the potential for changing requirements from multiple state and federal agencies. Certainty will be provided to producers that their attainment and maintenance of certification will meet water quality goals and standards of the State and where applicable maintain consistency with federal water quality goals. At this point, a 10 year timeframe of certainty appears achievable.
A number of Minnesota agencies are working to reduce nutrient levels in lakes and streams, ensuring healthier waters for current residents, people downstream, and future generations. Nine agencies (Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture, Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Dept. of Health) have pooled their resources to strengthen and coordinate their existing efforts. Together, these agencies will seek input from stakeholders, identify successful efforts, and develop a statewide strategy to reduce nutrients in Minnesota waters. Each month, these agencies highlight a project that shows how Minnesotans are working to reduce nutrients in their waters. Example Project: Conservation drainage benefits farmers, water quality. Through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), a pilot project in Kandiyohi County is demonstrating how conservation drainage can help farming and help water quality. Traditional systems drain farm fields in the spring and fall to facilitate planting and harvest. However, this subsurface drainage can also take away water during the growing season when crops need the moisture. Subsurface drainage can also impact water quality by carrying nitrate and soluble phosphorus into water bodies. This pilot project will provide producers in the Middle Fork Crow River watershed and around the region with an opportunity to learn about the benefits of drainage water management by seeing the system in action. Conservation drainage allows farmers to manage drainage, letting water go during wet periods and holding it back during dry periods. They can also coordinate drainage with fertilizer applications to minimize the impact to water quality. Funding sources included a Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment). For more information, visit the BWSR website (http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/projects/index.html).