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Ag-Drainage BMPs

Over the years, a suite of agricultural best-management practices (BMP)  has been developed that seek to reduce some of agriculture’s negative impacts on downstream water quality – many of which focus on reducing the impacts of drainage systems. These include practices that are designed to:

-          Prevent or reduce erosion in ephemeral drainageways (e.g. grassed waterways);

-          Capture sediment in runoff (e.g. filter strips, blind inlets);

-          Stabilize ditches and riparian areas (e.g. two-stage ditches, riparian buffers); and

-          Promote denitrification (e.g. drainage water management, saturated buffers).

This visual guide puts these BMPs in context by placing them in a typical agricultural landscape in Iowa. It also contains a chart that can help determine which BMP(s) might work best to address a particular water quality issue. To see guidance document click here.