Agriculture and Environment: Beef
Better Management Practices: Protect/Improve Water Quality
Pollutants come from manure, organic matter, fertilisers, sludge application, pesticides, chemicals, and fuels. If these materials are properly stored, applied, and disposed of, there is less chance that they will become part of runoff.
Reducing nutrient loading
The development of nutrient management plans can reduce the nutrient loading in runoff. Nutrient tests that allow producers to determine the most appropriate timing and rates for application of fertilisers can reduce use of these inputs, which can reduce expenditures for inputs in addition to reducing the nutrient content of runoff.
Fertilisers and pesticides should not be applied near water bodies and drainage ditches or prior to forecasted heavy rainfall (Florida Cattlemen's Association 1999).
Knowing pesticide toxicity
An important strategy to reduce impacts from pesticide use on pastures is for producers to be able to compare overall pesticide toxicity. Information is not generally available to producers that would allow them to select pesticides that are less toxic and less likely to have negative impacts on water quality.
In addition, information about which pesticides are better suited to solving which problems with which associated risks would allow producers to make more informed decisions about how to reduce the overall impact of pesticide use.
Choosing the right mix
Some of the most important factors to consider when selecting pesticides include the soil properties of the site in question, the mobility and persistence of pesticides, and the toxicity of pesticides to humans, wildlife, and aquatic species.