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4 Tips for Handling Agricultural Runoff

Due to the nature of outdoor gardening and farming, agricultural runoff has been a concern for many developers. This runoff from farm fields can include high levels of nutrients, nitrogen, and phosphorus which can deplete oxygen in local streams. To help save aquatic life, here are four tips that can help with that agricultural runoff.

Ensure Year-Round Ground Cover

One of the best strategies for helping to reduce the amount of agricultural runoff that your fields produce is to have a year-round ground cover. The plants in the soil can help to hold the nutrients and water into the soil. Some common cover crops include rye, buckwheat, clover, and hairy vetch.

Install Aerators in Water Bodies

If your field has a natural water body or surrounds one, then the use of a lagoon aerator like those made by VaraCorp can help to promote biological oxidation. This will ensure that the aquatic life in these water bodies can thrive instead of die due to oxygen restriction. An aerator is just one of a number of treatment methods for handling excessive agricultural runoff.

Install Fences to Block Livestock from Waterways

If you take a look at streams and water bodies that livestock have had access to, you’ll notice that they do a lot of damage. The stream banks will have a lot of erosion due to the high traffic of the livestock. You can prevent this erosion and restore the stream banks by installing fences along the water bodies on your property to keep livestock out.

Utilize Field Buffers

A great solution that can enhance the look of the field and prevent agricultural runoff are plant buffers. These can be shrubs, grasses, or even trees that are planted along the edges of the field. These buffers are most ideal for fields that border water bodies. Buffer plants will work to prevent nutrient loss in your soil by absorbing and filtering out the nutrients before they ever reach the water body near your field.

Agricultural runoff has been a growing concern from the environmentalist groups. With more and more information becoming available to farmers, they can now implement various strategies for controlling their runoff. The above are four of the easiest strategies for most farmers to implement on their properties. It’s important to note that not all fields are the same and different runoff prevention methods will work with different field features. It’s likely you may need to implement multiple strategies to hinder runoff on your farm.


Author Bio:  Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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