Farm and waterway best management practices
Preventing pollutant loss through farm and waterway best management practices (BMPs) is an essential first step in managing water quality in agricultural production systems. Farm and waterway BMPs improve water quality by minimising the loss of water and pollutants from agricultural production areas and other parts of the farm such as headlands, drains, riparian areas and wetlands. Agricultural industries have BMP programs in place to promote farm and waterway BMP and support producers to adopt best management practices.
Farm and waterway BMPs are necessary to minimise the loss of pollutants and water from production areas and other parts of the farm. All treatment trains for agricultural water quality improvement must start with farm and waterway BMPs, for three main reasons.
Even with complete adoption of BMPs, some pollutants are likely to be lost. The role of treatment systems is to filter the water leaving a farm, to further reduce the pollutant load, prior to the water entering natural waterways and wetlands. Treatment systems are not designed to compensate for poor farm management practices and can be damaged, or not function efficiently, if overloaded by pollutants or by excessive water flows.
Farm and waterway BMPs to improve water quality in agricultural production systems include, but are not limited to:
Agricultural Industry BMP programs
Industry organisations have developed BMP frameworks and there are programs in place to support producers to adopt these frameworks. Follow the links below for the BMPs specific to major agricultural industries in Queensland:
Sugarcane: SmartCane BMP
Grains: Grains BMP
Cotton: BMP Cotton
Banana: Banana BMP
Grazing: Grazing BMP
Dairy: Dairying Better ‘n Better
Meat Chicken: EMS
In addition to the standard disclaimer located at the bottom of the page, please note the content presented is based on published knowledge of treatment systems. Many of the treatment systems described have not been trialled in different regions or land uses in Queensland. The information will be updated as new trials are conducted and monitored. If you have any additional information on treatment systems or suggestions for additional technologies please contact us using the feedback link at the bottom of this page.
Last updated: 5 October 2018
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2018) Farm and waterway best management practices, WetlandInfo website, accessed 24 September 2020. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/treatment-systems/for-agriculture/farm-waterway-management/