It’s never been so easy for farmers to measure, assess, and improve their farm’s water quality.
A nonprofit for sustainable agriculture – Field to Market, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy – recently included a new metric in its Fieldprint Calculator that utilizes the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff (WQIag) to effectively measure water quality.
This simple, accessible, economical tool renders it a breeze for farmers to understand and monitor the rather complex measurement of water quality.
The tool allows farmers to input key variables regarding their field, including slope, soil characteristics, nutrient and pest management, tillage practices and conservation practices to score the quality of water flowing off of their fields. After the input of information about their land, the tool synthesizes all the information and outputs a single score on a 10-point scale, with zero being very poor and 10 being excellent.
Why is water quality so important?
Farmers need information about water quality to:
- grow several crops simultaneously
- boost the productivity of their land
- plan for water quality enhancement resets
- keep soil, nutrients, and pesticides on the field and out of the water supply
- determine areas for water quality improvement
The tool can also assess a field’s corn, cotton, wheat, soybean, rice and potato operations in terms of land use, soil conservation, soil carbon, water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. To evaluate all of this and your farm’s water quality, check out this valuable tool, available to anyone with internet access!
Need ag financing to improve your farm’s water quality? Our AgAmerica Lending Program boasts low interest farm loans to support projects that reduce existing water quality issues caused by agricultural activities and poor water quality practices. These ag loans can help you improve and upgrade feedlots, manure handling, tillage equipment, sewage treatment systems, and more! Learn more about this one-of-a-kind ag lending program!