State Street Reconstruction | Madison, WI

Agriculture Conservation Focuses on Phosphorus

Andrew Skwor, PE, CPESC | with 0 Comments


Agriculture Conservation Focuses on Phosphorus

Conservation practices in Wisconsin date back to the early 1930s when the first erosion control project in the country began.  The farming community has been pioneering land conservation for years and Wisconsin has been a leader in the practice.  Protecting our land and water resources was as important in the 1930s as it is today. 

I recently participated in a farm tour coordinated through Yahara Pride Farms, an affiliate organization of the Clean Lakes Alliance.  The organization is focused on improving manure storage and management as well as crop management in the Yahara watershed – they achieve this by promoting agriculture conservation.  Their end goal is to reduce phosphorus inflow to the Yahara River in south-central Wisconsin.

Phosphorus reaches surface waters mostly through direct discharges and runoff from land application.  Erosion control measures can limit the transportation of phosphorus to waters, but soil can only absorb a limited amount of phosphates.  So, even in the areas with the best erosion control, phosphorus can eventually enter waterways.

Wisconsin currently regulates phosphorus produced by agriculture through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Chapter NR 151 Runoff Management regulations and through the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) Chapter ATCP 51 Livestock Facility Siting rule. 

In our next post, we will discuss these regulations and ways to manage phosphorus.

Protecting water sources for future generations is something we take seriously here at MSA, and phosphorus is just one piece of the puzzle.  Contact Andrew Skwor if you would like more information on phosphorus reduction or other manure management practices.


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