GREELEY, Colo. — Across Colorado, farmers and ranchers are using best management practices to help keep nutrients out of lakes and streams and improve Colorado’s water quality. These forward-thinking producers believe the most effective way to reach agriculture and achieve the best results is through outreach and voluntary action. Their stories and resources are now available to help other producers care for Colorado’s waterways.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) recently announced the release of “Colorado Ag Water Quality” — an outreach project developed by Colorado State University Extension. The resources, found at www.ColoradoAgNutrients.org, include videos, a factsheet and publications on nutrient and water quality management.
Across the U.S., 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 — adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission in 2012 — currently addresses nutrient concentrations in surface water by encouraging the voluntary adoption of best management practices.
Regulation 85 sets a 2022 timeline for evaluation of this voluntary approach for reducing nutrient pollution. Additional regulations may be considered, depending on the success of these voluntary efforts. Many of Colorado’s farmers and ranchers have responded by working proactively to safeguard the state’s waterways, and leaders in the ag industry are encouraging more producers to do the same.
— Colorado Corn
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