MANUAL OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS) FOR AGRICULTURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Best Management Practices for the Handling of Agricultural Compost, Fertilizer, and Manure

Agricultural Best Management Practices Task Force, Usda Natural Resources Conservation Service New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Markets, Food,

The land resource and farmers who use it represent the foundation of our Nation. Farming produces food, fiber, and other products for sustaining the state and country. In New Hampshire, about 3,400 commercial and many part-time and hobby farms produce food and fiber for local and regional markets. This farming can continue to be viable within the conservation needs of the farm, surrounding area and watershed. Continuous protection of the state’s environmental quality can be assured by using Best Management Practices (BMPs). These agricultural BMPs are management, agronomic/vegetative and structural practices that permit economical and viable production while achieving the least possible adverse impact on the environment, including water quality. They also minimize possible adverse impacts on human, animal and plant health. Best Management Practices prevent pollution from agricultural operations. Plant nutrients, bacteria, sediment and agricultural chemicals can be controlled so that pollution of surface and ground water does not occur and limit the use for drinking, aquatic life and recreation. Odor, vectors, and other nuisances can also be minimized by adequate BMPs. This manual discusses water quality, nonpoint source pollution and the selection and use of BMPs for manure, agricultural compost, and chemical fertilizer. It provides lists of more common BMPs for preliminary consideration. The information sources in the reference section provide some guidance in selecting, planning, designing and implementing Best Management Practices. Professional judgment is required to properly select BMPs for a particular farm or site. It is not intended that all BMPs necessarily be applied to a particular situation. The manual also discusses agricultural water, air and nuisance complaints and positive steps to resolve them. Information is included on RSA 431:33-35, "Manure, Agricultural Compost, and Chemical Fertilizer Handling," and the complaint process.