Agriculture Resource Library
NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund
The Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund is dedicated to restoring native forests to conditions that will improve associated wildlife species and the health of freshwater systems, while advancing strategies to support working forests.
NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE
Agricultural Applied Climate Information System
This system is a repository for data collected at stations in the National Weather Service Cooperative Network. Data and several standard summary reports are available. Historically, the most common summary reports used in NRCS are TAPS (temperature and precipitation summary), FROST (frost-free days), GROWTH (growing season length), and WETS (wetlands determination). AgACIS is supported by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
ACEP provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.
Conservation Innovation Grants
NRCS offers a funding opportunity to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production.
Conservation Stewardship Program
The Conservation Stewardship Program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment. Through CSP, participants take additional steps to improve resource condition including soil quality, water quality, water quantity, air quality, and habitat quality, as well as energy.
Conservation Technical Assistance Program
NRCS delivers conservation technical assistance through its voluntary Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA). CTA is available to any group or individual interested in conserving our natural resources and sustaining agricultural production in this country. The CTA program functions through a national network of locally-based, professional conservationists located in nearly every county of the United States. Among other things, this assistance can help land users: Protect and improve water quality and quantity; Maintain and improve wildlife and fish habitat.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.
Hydrology and Hydraulic Models
A listing of hydrology and hydraulic tools and models.
A listing of irrigation related resources. Site includes models, contacts, handbooks, training information and more.
Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative
Through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), NRCS and partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in the Mississippi River basin. The 13-state initiative builds on the cooperative work of NRCS and its conservation partners in the basin, and offers agricultural producers in priority watersheds the opportunity for voluntary technical and financial assistance. Cumberland River Basin Watersheds to receive funding in 2016 include Upper Buck Creek and the Red River.
National Water Quality Handbook
This handbook is the principal NRCS water quality reference regarding all agricultural land uses. The handbook is the definitive NRCS resource for water quality technical information, guidance, and procedures.
National Water Quality Initiative
NWQI is designed to help individual agricultural producers take actions to reduce the loss of sediment, nutrients and pathogens into waterways where water quality is a critical concern. The goal of NWQI is to implement conservation practices in sufficient quantity in a concentrated area so that agriculture no longer contributes to the impairment of water bodies within priority watersheds. To achieve these goals, NRCS will work with landowners to implement conservation practices such as nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, terraces and buffers. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds this assistance, and in some cases, is leveraged by funds from local and state partners.Within the Cumberland River Basin, all NWQI priority watersheds are at the HUC12 level and within the Collins River watershed. Priority watersheds are the Little Hickory Creek (051301070101), West Fork Hickory Creek watershed (051301070102), and Hickory Creek watershed (051301070103).
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through program contracts or easement agreements. RCPP encourages partners to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales.
Southeast Kentucky Early Successional Habitat Initiative
The purpose of the Southeast Kentucky Early Successional Habitat Initiative is to establish fish and wildlife habitat on private agricultural land and nonindustrial private forestland in a highly forested area of the State with a large potential for early successional habitat improvement. Emphasis will be placed on forest stand improvement practices with the objective of creating or maintaining early successional forest habitat to benefit a suite of wildlife species. This initiative is available in a number of Cumberland Basin counties in KY.
Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program
This program provides technical and financial assistance to States, local governments and Tribes (project sponsors) to plan and implement authorized watershed project plans for the purpose of: watershed protection; flood mitigation; water quality improvements; soil erosion reduction; rural, municipal and industrial water supply; irrigation; water management; sediment control; fish and wildlife enhancement; and hydropower.
The purpose of this Kentucky initiative is to help participants develop fish and wildlife habitat on private agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land and Indian land. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and others to develop or enhance upland, wetland, riparian, and aquatic habitat areas on their property.
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC)
The nations 22 LCCs bring together federal, state, and local governments along with Tribes and First Nations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and interested public and private organizations. LCC partners work collaboratively to identify best practices, connect efforts, identify science gaps, and avoid duplication through conservation planning and design. The Appalachian LCC covers the entirety of the Cumberland River Basin, as well as additional area and it's website includes news, contacts, funding opportunities, resources, and more.
National Land Cover Datasets
The primary objective of the NLCD is to provide the Nation with nationally complete, current, consistent, and public domain information on the Nation's land cover. Land cover information is critical for local, state, and federal managers and officials to assist them with issues such as assessing ecosystem status and health, modeling nutrient and pesticide runoff, understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity, land use planning, deriving landscape pattern metrics, and developing land management policies.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Program
Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program is authorized to state governments by EPA to perform many permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the program. Program areas include Animal Feeding Operations, Industrial Wastewater, Municipal Wastewater, National Pretreatment, Pesticide Application,Stormwater, and Vessel Discharges.
Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox
The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in educating the public on nonpoint source pollution or stormwater runoff. The Toolbox contains a variety of resources to help develop an effective and targeted outreach campaign.
Nutrient Indicators Dataset
As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with states and other partners to accelerate nutrient load reductions and state adoption of numeric nutrient criteria, and as outlined in a March 2011 Nutrient Framework memorandum, EPA has developed the Nutrient Indicators Dataset. This Dataset consists of a set of indicators and associated state-level data to serve as a regional compendium of information pertaining to potential or documented nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, impacts of that pollution, and states’ efforts to minimize loadings and adopt numeric criteria for nutrients into state water quality standards. Information on the data source(s) used, the data collection process, and any caveats or assumptions made which should be considered when using the data, are included on each indicator’s individual web page.
Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL)
STEPL employs simple algorithms to calculate nutrient and sediment loads from different land uses and the load reductions that would result from the implementation of various best management practices (BMPs).
Water Budget Data Finder
Irrigation professionals using the WaterSense Landscape Water Budget Tool may use the Water Budget Data Finder to determine peak watering month and the appropriate evapotranspiration and rainfall values for a specific United States zip code.
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to restore historic habitat types, which benefit native fishes and wildlife. Interested landowners in Tennessee and Kentucky can receive technical advice and funding to do livestock exclusion fencing/alternate water supply construction, streambank stabilization; restoration of native Vegetation; wetland restoration/enhancement; riparian reforestation; and restoration of in-stream Aquatic Habitats. Projects must benefit Federal Trust Resources (threatened or endangered species, wetlands, migratory birds). Click the appropriate link for TN or KY above for program details for each state.
U.S. FOREST SERVICE
Adventures of Junior Raindrop
This animated 1948 film shows the need for everyone to be informed about good watershed management. Raindrops, like children, become delinquent and lawless. The animation is supplemented with live action scenes showing contrasting results of poor and good watershed management.
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee - Kentucky
The Kentucky Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee (KASMC) is a partnership of national, state, and local agencies dedicated to coordinating agricultural science and monitoring efforts in Kentucky in order to promote sustainable farming and a healthy environment.
STATE RESOURCES - KENTUCKY
KY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Find Kentucky Agriculture Businesses and Products
Kentucky agriculture-related companies promote their businesses, products, and services in the KDA Agriculture Business Directory.
Directory for the the KY Department of Agriculture.
KY DIVISION OF CONSERVATION
Agriculture Water Quality Plan and Agriculture Water Quality Authority
Members of the Agriculture Water Quality Authority are appointed by the governor to represent the state’s agriculture and environmental community while developing and supporting a statewide agricultural water quality plan. The statewide agriculture water quality plan is an effort to produce a practical, flexible, coordinated natural resources management system that protects the waters of the Commonwealth and complies with applicable government rules and regulations. This website lists members of the authority, contains links to meeting minutes, and links visitors to the Agriculture Water Quality Plan.
The Division of Conservation compiled this list of links related to agriculture and conservation. Linked websites include UK's Forest Leadership Program, UK's tool for creating an Agriculture Water Quality Plan, and others.
Through the Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share program, the Soil and Water Conservation Commission is able to provide environmental grants to conservation districts to reduce agricultural non-point source pollution of surface or groundwater. These grants are provided for projects that educate the public about pollution problems and demonstrate effective alternatives, as well as those that encourage the adoption of new management techniques or measures.The maximum grant amount is $7,500, and the maximum cost share rate is 75 percent.
The Kentucky Division of Conservation administers the Equipment Revolving Loan Program, which has been in effect since 1948. During this time, $62 million has been loaned to 2,320 individuals and conservation districts for the purpose of purchasing specialized equipment. Equipment eligible for loans through the program include dozers, backhoes, no-till drills, precision applicators for agriculture chemicals and other equipment suited for conservation work.
The Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts Auxiliary sponsors three $1,000 scholarships each year. The George Crafton Scholarship is for graduating high school seniors, the Natural Resource Scholarship is for college students and the Betty Barrick Non-Traditional Scholarship is for college students who are at least 25 years old. Those applying for the scholarship will need to be qualified young men and women that are interested in agriculture and natural resources fields.
Since 1972, the Division of Conservation has been a participant in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program. This program is a nationwide partnership of federal, regional, state and local agencies and institutions that work together to investigate, inventory, classify and interpret soils as well as publish, deliver and promote the use of soil information. This webpage has more information about the program, as well as state and national soil resources.
State Cost Share Program
The Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program and the Kentucky Soil Stewardship Program are financial and technical assistance programs created to help agricultural operations protect the soil and water resources of Kentucky and to implement their agriculture water quality plans. Water related practices eligible for cost share are agriculture and animal waste control facilities; streambank stabilization; animal waste utilization; vegetative filter strips; integrated crop management; pesticide containment; sinkhole protection; pasture and hay land forage quality; heavy use area protection; rotational grazing system establishment; water well protection; forest land and cropland erosion control systems; closure of agriculture waste impoundment; on-farm fallen animal composting; soil health management; precision nutrient management; strip intercropping system; livestock stream crossing and riparian area protection.
STATE RESOURCES - TENNESSEE
TN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund
The ARCF provides cost-share assistance to Tennessee landowners to install Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce agricultural water pollution. A wide range of BMPs are available for cost-share, from those that curtail soil erosion to ones that help to remove pollutants from water runoff from agricultural operations. Landowners may be eligible to receive up to 75% of the cost of a BMP installation. Part of the fund is also available for educational projects which raise awareness of soil erosion/water quality problems and promote BMP use.
Nonpoint Source Program, EPA Section 319
To address nonpoint source pollution, Congress established the Nonpoint Source Program, funded by the US-EPA through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture administers the Nonpoint Source Program in Tennessee on behalf of US-EPA. This program, created in 1987, provides funds to states, territories and Indian tribes for installing Best Management Practices to stop NPS pollution; providing training, education, and demonstrations; and monitoring water quality. This webpage has links to department of agriculture Watershed Coordinators, Nonpoint Source FAQs, NPS Success Stories, NPS Annual Report; and the 319 Management Program Document.
Pesticide Consumer Tips and Complaints
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is authorized to investigate those cases involving alleged pesticide misuse, pesticide drift, sub-standard termite treatments if there is a current contract, failure to issue a termite contract, failure to retreat active termite infestations, certain sales practices leading to the application of a pesticide, pesticide labeling, illegal pesticide applicators, illegal pesticide sales, and illegal pesticide manufacture.
State Soil Conservation Committee
The State Soil Conservation Committee provides oversight and assistance to soil conservation districts in carrying out programs directed towards soil erosion control and water quality improvement on farmland. Links to soil conservation district contacts across the state are provided on this webpage.
Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program
TAEP is a cost share program for Tennessee's Agricultural community. Participation allows producers to maximize farm profits, adapt to changing market situations, improve operation safety, increase farm efficiency and make a positive economic impact in their communities. Grant funds from the program are also available for community tree planting and are designed to assist cities and towns in maintaining and increasing their tree resource. This includes funding for riparian tree planting on public or private land, as of 2016.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Watershed Coordinators are available to provide technical assistance for addressing a variety of agricultural stormwater runoff and nonpoint source water concerns. The Watershed Coordinators can help develop best management practices to combat pollutant contributions from a range of activities such as animal feeding operations, forestry activities, and urban runoff. This webpage contains a map of the state, along with highlighted coordinates and coordinator contact information.
TN SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
Awards and Scholarships
Agriculture and conservation related awards and scholarship programs.
A webpage with information about past and upcoming Soil Conservation District conventions.
Cover Crop Chart
The Cover Crop Chart (v. 2.0) is designed to assist producers with decisions on the use of cover crops in crop and forage production systems. The chart, patterned after the periodic table of elements, includes information on 58 crop species that may be planted individually or in cocktail mixtures. Information on growth cycle, relative water use, plant architecture, seeding depth, forage quality, pollination characteristics, and nutrient cycling are included for most crop species.
Soil Conservation Districts Map and List
This page contains a map and list of counties with links to county Soil Conservation District websites.
Soil Health Documents
A number of documents on the subject of soil health.
Soil Health FAQ
Frequently asked soil health questions and answers. Water related topics covered include cover crops, tillage, plant diversity and more.
Soil Health Videos
Educational videos about a variety of water related topics including no till, cover crops, rotational grazing, herd management, and water quality.
TN STORMWATER ASSOCIATION
Citizens Guide to Understanding Stormwater
Educational information about urban and agricultural stormwater issues.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
General information about TN CAFOs and CAFO related regulation in Tennessee.
Conservation Practices at Little River Animal and Environmental Unit
This interactive story map show water quality conservation practices implemented on this concentrated animal feeding dairy operation (CAFO) along the Little River in East Tennessee.
Extension publications including water related publications on topics such as spill prevention, control and countermeasure, livestock watering, and micro-irrigation.
Office Locations, Departments, and Centers
The map on this page links visitors to county Extension Office websites.
Reducing Soluble Phosphorus Content to Control Algal Growth in Farm Ponds
Water quality in many ponds is poor due to poor management. Sediments and excessive nutrients, especially phosphorus, cause algal growth, low dissolved oxygen levels, fish kills and odors. Herbicide technologies for controlling algae do not treat the problem but rather the symptoms, therefore control with herbicide is often temporary. Addition of alum, a common technology for drinking water treatment, treats the problem.
Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC)
Basic information about Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans. Crop and livestock farms often use fuel and oil storage tanks to supply diesel fuel for on-farm equipment and to store used oil. Many agricultural producers don’t realize that a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan is a regulatory requirement if certain conditions are met on their farm. In addition to the SPCC plan, these regulations will likely require farms to upgrade their storage facilities to prevent and control oil spills and to have a cleanup plan ready in case a spill occurs. University of Tennessee Extension publication W250, The Agricultural Producers' Comprehensive Guide to Federal Oil Pollution Prevention Guidelines, explains how these regulations apply to your farm and how you can develop and implement a SPCC plan.
Strategic Business Plan
The UT Extension Service's Agriculture, Natural Resources and Community Economic Development Strategic Plan.
Watershed Restoration and Management Program
The UT Watershed Management program provides needed information to those working to protect our natural water resources and prevent nonpoint source pollution. See the program's planning model to understand how it is making a difference for Tennesseans. Resources are available for farmers, homeowners, teachers, and communities. The Watershed Restoration and Management Program'sresource library contains over 100 water related documents, plans, and pages.
Water Quality Best Management Practices Calendar
This calendar provides ideas on how you can improve your operation and practice stewardship.
Non-Governmental Organization RESOURCES
CUMBERLAND RIVER COMPACT
River Friendly Agriculture
Best management practices (BMPs), funding sources, and contacts for landowners to help protect our state’s precious water. This webpage provides links to an explanation of agricultural BMPs, resources for paying for BMPs, certifications for farms, and contacts who can offer technical advice. All of this information is available in pdf form here.
Agricultural Best Management Practices
A list of 10 recommended best management practices for agricultural producers. Included are riparian buffers, no till, rotational grazing, cover crops, keeping cattle away from stream banks, getting soil and manure tests to determine proper application levels, ensure pesticide applicators are properly calibrated, and more.
Beneficial Conservation Practices for Farmers
This guide provides information about agricultural practices that help protect your soil and water while saving you money and preventing future problems from occurring. A list of conservation practices and benefits is provided, as are funding and support programs, and resources and support for cover crops, alternate water sources for livestock, rotational grazing, phosphorous in the environment, tree plantings and riparian zone restoration, and additional general information about water quality on farms and best management practices from TN's extension office.
This webpage provides an overview of HWRA efforts to restore the headwaters of the Harpeth using 319 grant funding. Efforts have focused on reducing nonpoint source stormwater pollution with exclusion fences, stabilizing feeding areas, and stabilizing streambanks.
KY WATERWAYS ALLIANCE
A basic explanation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations — why they are a water quality concern and how they are regulated.
An explanation of our Nation's Farm Bill and how it relates to water quality.
Kentucky Aquatic Resource Fund (KARF)
KARF provides a way for multiple agencies and partners to contribute funding and other resources to conserve Kentucky’s best places. KWA’s role in the partnership is to act as the financial steward of the fund. The fund exists to ensure that all ill-effects to aquatic species are adequately addressed, and that real conservation and recovery benefits are provided. KARF supports voluntary land preservation agreements and has funds designated to match other grants or programs that support or match our goals. The fund will support much needed research, surveys, and monitoring of waterways and water quality along with stream and stream/riverbank area management. The funds will also support threatened species propagation and introductions throughout the state and promote habitat restoration and enhancement through the Best Management Practices installation.
LAND TRUST FOR TENNESSEE
Beaman to Bells Bend Corridor Project
The Beaman Park to Bells Bend corridor project represents an unprecedented opportunity for Nashville and Davidson County to become a regional leader in rural conservation. This irreplaceable jewel could very easily be lost without careful planning. So far, The Land Trust for Tennessee has protected 350+ acres through individual projects in the corridor with conservation easements.
Davidson County Open Space Plan
Nashville’s Open Space Plan, released in 2011, is an ongoing partnership between The Land Trust for Tennessee and the Office of the Mayor focused on protecting open space throughout Davidson County. It is a map for the strategic conservation and creation of green spaces, by both the public and private sectors, to protect the unique landscape of Middle Tennessee. The project includes a variety of opportunities – creating neighborhood parks and gardens, conserving hillsides and private parks, and protecting farms, forests and river corridors outside the urban core. The plan can be downloaded here.
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY OF KENTUCKY
Buck Creek Restoration Project
Information about the Conservancy's conservation efforts on the Pumphrey Tract within the Buck Creek Watershed. TNC has worked to conserve wildlife and protect a nearby cave system while fostering a sustainable, agriculture-based economy in the area. Since acquiring the tract in 2005, TNC has placed a WRP easement on 150 acres, sold 35 to Pulaski County, exchanged 40 acres with a local landowner for an easement on 86 acres, and planted approximately 30,000 native trees and shrubs. The area is home to over 30 species of mussels and 77 species of fish.
RED RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION
This webpage provides an overview of the Red River Watershed and highlights water quality challenges in the region. The site also includes a link to a map of the watershed.
River Network provides an explanation of best management practices by the following topics: Managing urban runoff; Reducing farm and ranch pollution; Addressing industrial and other point sources; Improving sewage treatment; Increasing protection for drinking water sources; Tackling energy and mining pollution.
Reducing Farm and Ranch Pollution
Best management practices for reducing farm and ranch pollution.