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PRESENTATION TITLE: WATER QUALITY BMPS FOR COW/CALF OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Pp. 183-183 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA) 701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7552)
Authors: Mike Thomas, Camilo Gaitan
Keywords: BMP, TMDL, cattle, water quality, phosphorus, nitrate
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program requirements of the federal Clean
Water Act are requiring states to develop new initiatives for managing agricultural nonpoint
sources. In Florida, public agencies and the agricultural community are taking the lead in
implementing a watershed-based process for BMP development, demonstration, refinement, and
implementation to reduce nutrient loadings.
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In June 1997, the Environmental Committee of the Florida Cattlemen's Association met with the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services, and UF/IFAS, and took the initiative to begin the development of Best
Management Practices (BMPs) for cow/calf operations in Florida. The objective was to develop
BMPs that have the potential to improve surface and ground water quality and reduce the quantity
of runoff water draining into the sensitive rivers, lakes, and estuaries. By adopting and enacting the
BMPs, ranchers hoped to minimize the effects of regulation, legislation, and litigation concerning
the EPA's establishment of total maximum daily loads. Over the course of 30 months, the BMP
process produced an extensive BMP manual. A related project, Funded but a USEPA Section 319
grant, initiated a series of workshops and on-farm demonstrations, produced additional educational
materials, and identified areas where further research is necessary. This paper briefly describes the
BMPs developed by the cattle industry, explains the reasons BMPs are needed, documents the
process, and presents the outreach and education program used to disseminate that information.