Land Stewardship - Best Management Practices
Ausable Bayfield Conservation works with landowners to provide technical advice and to connect you with financial incentives to implement best management practices on your property.
Visit our grants and funding page to find out more about funding opportunities for you:
Contact our stewardship staff today to find out more or for a site visit. Visit our staff contacts page:
For best management practices at home and work please visit our watershed community's Conservation Strategy page with a What You Can Do page and a What Your Community Group Can do page:
For best management practices at your business visit:
For best management practices on your farm or rural property continue reading:
Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Grassed waterways are vegetation strips which are properly sized to handle a large amount of water and move it to an appropriate outlet without causing soil erosion.
Grassed waterways are broad, shallow, permanently vegetated and help to convey water to a proper drain or outlet during rainfall, high flows or spring melts.
To find out more visit Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) – Grassed Waterways.
Berms or Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs)
A water and sediment control basin is an earthen structure or berm across a natural drainageway which intercepts runoff and allows sedimentation. Water is ponded for a desired amount of time (based on crops, etc.) and slowly released through an inlet to a tile system which directs the water to an appropriate outlet. WASCOBs are used to address rill or gully erosion from a watershed of less than 20 hectares (ha) or 50 acres (ac).
Windbreaks are one or more rows of trees planted to reduce the effects of wind on soil erosion.
To learn more visit these links:
Fragile Land Retirement
Fragile agricultural lands are lands which are tilled or pastured lands that are prone to erosion from water, tillage, and wind. These lands may be steeply sloped, flood plains, or areas where groundwater is recharged.
Agricultural production on fragile lands has limited profit, degrades soil structure, and can negatively impact the surrounding water quality and soil health. There are multiple options for retiring fragile lands including tree planting, prairie meadow, or wetland habitat restoration.
For more information visit these links:
- Tree Planting and Forestry Services - Ausable Bayfield Conservation
- Wetland Restoration and Other Stormwater Management Improvements - Ausable Bayfield Conservation
Cover crops are important in maintaining soil quality and productivity on agricultural lands. Cover crops reduce soil erosion, add organic matter, reduce nutrient loss and compaction, improve soil fertility and soil structure, and provide water management benefits.
To find our more visit this link:
Manure Storage Decommissioning
To properly abandon a manure storage facility, it should be completely emptied.
Proper decommissioning will remove significant sources of nutrients, pathogens and other potential pollutants as well as protect the farm’s well water. It is highly recommended that a certified professional undertake this work to ensure it is done properly and safely. Abandoning manure storage or other agricultural waste impoundments, treatment lagoons or liquid storage facilities means permanently removing facilities that are no longer used or can no longer serve their intended purpose in an environmentally sound manner.
Learn more at:
Unused and un-maintained wells threaten the groundwater that supplies your well and possibly your neighbour's well too.
Properly decommissioning the well is a process of properly plugging and sealing. It is highly recommended that a certified professional undertake this work to ensure that it is done properly and safely. A well that is no longer used or maintained can become a direct pipeline to local groundwater in aquifers.
Find out more at:
Clean Water Diversion
Clean water diversion is reducing the amount of precipitation that travels directly through the farmyard and can be contaminated with manure, chemicals or animal or machine contact. Eavestrough installation, berms or land contouring, and grassed waterways are all ways to divert and direct clean water on a different pathway.
Livestock Restriction Fencing
Livestock along watercourses damage riparian habitats by trampling banks and causing erosion. Livestock grazing with unrestricted access to watercourses, wetlands, and other water bodies can have detrimental effects to the surrounding quality of water. Animal manure in a watercourse is a source of bacteria and other microorganisms which can cause health problems for animals and people.