From The High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal:
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado Department of Agriculture announce the release of “Colorado Ag Water Quality,” an outreach project developed by Colorado State University Extension. The resources, found at http://www.ColoradoAgNutrients.org, include videos, a factsheet and publications on nutrient and water quality management.
Across the United States, nitrogen and phosphorus have the potential to accumulate in waterways, causing water quality issues such as algal blooms, fish kills and impaired drinking water supplies. Colorado Regulation 85 currently addresses nutrient concentrations in surface water by encouraging the adoption of best management practices.
“Myself along with a number of other agricultural entities became aware of it [Regulation 85] and were actively engaged in the stakeholder discussions until it was adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission in 2012,” said Bill Hammerich, CEO, Colorado Livestock Association.
Regulation 85 sets a 2022 timeline for evaluation of this voluntary approach for reducing nutrient pollution in surface waterways. Additional regulations may be considered, depending on the success of these voluntary efforts. Colorado’s farmers and ranchers have responded by working proactively to safeguard Colorado’s waterways.
“Many farmers and ranchers are already using some of the latest-and-greatest agricultural technologies and best management practices to produce the world’s food, fuel and fiber in the most sustainable ways possible,” said Colorado Corn Growers Association President Dave Eckhardt, a Weld County farmer. “However, in order to preserve agriculture’s non-regulated status, we have to figure out how to quantify the progress we’ve made over recent decades in terms of managing the entire land-water-nutrient picture and also share that data to show how we achieved these successes.”
Visit http://www.ColoradoAgNutrients.org to find out more about how Colorado’s farmers and ranchers are working to improve nutrient management and Colorado’s water quality.