Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
$34,348 disbursed for 'precision agriculture' in Jackson Purchase
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2005) – Funds totaling $34,348 have been disbursed by the Kentucky Division of Conservation (DOC) for a project to promote water quality through “precision agriculture” in the Jackson Purchase.
The project entails a 60-40 cost share with agricultural producers as incentive to engage in specific, targeted application of soil amendments and chemicals rather than generalized, broadcast spreading.
Targeting should reduce the risk of water pollution because fertilizer application rates would vary with yield potential – lower rates in areas of lower yield potential, higher rates where crops could absorb nutrients. Fewer chemicals would be required, resulting in less chemical runoff into waterways of the eight counties of the Purchase, the westernmost region of Kentucky.
The funding is granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. DOC, an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, disbursed it to the Jackson Purchase Resource Conservation and Development Council.
The partnership between DOC and the Jackson Purchase council will result in Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can be replicated across the farming region. Once BMPs have been implemented, monitoring will take place and comparisons made to pre-BMP conditions to judge the effectiveness of the project and its impact on water quality. A local field day is planned to demonstrate BMPs to farmers and landowners.