The deadline for developing and implementing an agriculture water quality plan was October 23, 2001. The plans are part of the Agriculture Water Quality Act passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1994. The Act is designed to protect surface and groundwater resources from potential pollution that may result from agriculture and/or silviculture operations. Landowners with 10 or more acres used for agriculture or silviculture production are required to have an ag water quality plan. A completed ag water quality plan assists producers in qualifying for state cost-share programs by providing "bonus points" on cost-share applications.
Though the deadline has passed, it is still important that water quality plans be developed and implemented. Landowners can be found to be out of compliance with Kentucky statutes if they do not have a plan. It is also important for landowners with existing plans to properly maintain best management practices (BMPs) and update plans to correspond with any changes in operations. For example, if a beef operation becomes a dairy operation, an updated water quality plan is necessary to account for differing water quality concerns. Plans should also be updated if land is acquired or sold.
Local Conservation District Offices and county Extension Offices can help landowners develop water quality plans. Landowners can also complete their own ag water quality plan using the Producer Workbook or computer software. Plans may be developed online using BMP Generatoră software via the Environmental and Natural Resource Issues Task Force website: http://www.ca.uky.edu/enri.Prepared by Amanda Abnee, Extension Associate for Environmental and Natural Resource Issues