Brighton has a rich agricultural history. A strong agricultural industry is essential for the American public. Agricultural producers are important partners in implementing measures to protect the environment and public health.
The primary pollutants that are relevant to agriculture are sediment, nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), bacteria and pesticides. Effective approaches for addressing water quality challenges at the watershed scale will require both urban and agricultural efforts. Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are encouraged and implemented on a voluntary basis by landowners.
Agricultural BMPs :
- Preserve a riparian (streamside) buffer.
- Plan and implement a Nutrient Management Plan.
- Utilize soil tests to determine current nutrient levels and soil pH.
- Apply nutrients only at levels required for plant growth.
- Use appropriate timing for application of chemical fertilizer.
- Use less leachable forms of fertilizer (slow release) where possible.
- Calibrate chemical fertilizer application equipment properly.
- Schedule irrigation to minimize leaching potential (avoid excessive irrigation).
- Limit applications of nitrogen fertilizers to coincide with plant uptake.
- Do not apply nutrients during winter months when ground is frozen or snowcovered.
- Minimize soil erosion.
- Install filter strips next to surface waters receiving runoff from areas to which fertilizers have been applied.
- Store fertilizers in labeled containers and/or structures that control access of livestock to water bodies.
- Control/Divert runoff from barnyards and feedlots.
For voluntary and/or regulatory Ag programs regarding protection of water quality and public health please refer to EPA/CDPHE. There are a variety of voluntary programs that provide technical and financial assistance to help producers meet technical standards and remain economically viable.
Note that the EPA’s NPDES regulations exclude irrigated agriculture and agricultural stormwater runoff from the universe of entities requiring permit coverage. Discharges from concentrated animal feeding operations, concentrated aquatic animal production facilities, and silviculture, as well as discharges to aquaculture projects are not excluded from permitting requirements.
Through cooperation and collaboration, farmers can help us address environmental concerns.