Farming and Agricultural Activities
The unhealthy bacteria that results in mudflat closures can come from many different sources, including farms. This pollution can potentially come from the following agricultural sources:
- poorly located or managed animal feeding operations
- overgrazing or grazing too close to surface waters
- plowing too often or at the wrong time
- applying pesticides, irrigation water or fertilizer improperly, at the wrong time or in excessive amounts
What can landowners do?
To reduce impacts on water quality, farmers can do any of the following:
- adjust grazing intensity, to maintain vegetation cover
- keep livestock out of sensitive areas, such as wetlands and surface waters
- provide alternative sources of water and shade, rather than vegetation buffer areas close to surface waters
- promote revegetation of ranges, pastures and buffer areas close to surface waters
- develop and implement conservation practices or a nutrient management plan
- find funding and additional resources
Water quality problems cannot usually be solved with one management practice, because single practices do not typically provide the full range and extent of control needed at a site. Multiple practices are combined to address treatment needs associated with one or more pollution sources, runoff locations, and remediation limitations.
Best management practices are designed based on the type of pollutant; the source of the pollutant; the cause of the pollution at the source; the agricultural, climatic, and environmental conditions; the pollution reduction goals; the economic situation of farm operations; the experience of the system designers; and, the willingness and ability of the producer to implement and maintain the practices.