A Best Management Practice (BMP) is a practice or combination of practices determined to be the most effective, practicable means for protecting our natural resources. Practicability is demonstrated through technical feasibility (research findings, field trials, experience), economic feasibility (cost effectiveness), and acceptability (the responsible party must be willing to apply and maintain them).

Water Quality BMPs

Idaho Administrative Code (IDAPA 58.01.02) calls for the Agricultural Pollution Abatement Plan (the "Ag Plan," an 86 pg. PDF document) to describe the "best management practices for the control of nonpoint sources of pollution for agriculture." It provides a list of 96 applicable component practices (table F-2), and the "commonly selected" components in 5 typical agricultural BMPs:

The particular lists are not given as limiting or comprehensive; a combination of the 5, or of other components may be needed to meet natural resource and pollution abatement objectives. For example, an individual farm might require both an Animal Waste Management BMP and an Irrigated Cropland BMP.

Idaho Conservation Standards

The USDA National Resources Conservation Service maintains a library of documents in its Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG), with information indexed by state, and by county. Section IV has the detailed standards, specifications, worksheets, etc. for the component practices of conservation BMPs.

Contact your local NRCS/SCD office for help or more information.

Additional BMP Reference Documents