New NARS Communication Tool
CTIC is leading an effort to highlight farmers and other landowners who are helping improve water quality and habitat around the country. Working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) and Office of Research and Development (ORD), we are tapping into the outstanding body of research on water quality found in EPA's National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) to identify key challenges those farmers and landowners are facing and what farmers are doing closer to home.
Through articles, videos and other information, we hope to inspire and inform landowners interested in helping address water quality issues, and show their neighbors steps that these farmers are taking to protect and improve our nation's natural resources.
Below is the first article in our series, about dairy farmers in northwest Washington.
Whatcom County Dairy Farmers Tackle Water Quality Challenges
Using an innovative online tool to schedule late winter and early spring manure applications, Terry and Troy Lenssen of Lenssen Dairy in Lynden, Washington, can give soil microbes a chance to convert slurry nutrients into plant-available forms before spring growth starts in earnest, while also protecting local waterways from runoff of nutrients and bacteria. The Application Risk Management (ARM) tool developed by the Whatcom Conservation District uses a complex formula to analyze local weather forecasts, soil type, crop density, water table depth and other variables to determine whether the risks of runoff or leaching are low enough to permit a manure application.