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Implement farm-assist programs for BMP education and adoption

A 10-year study performed under the Rural Clean Water Program found that agricultural producers most often fail to implement best management practices (BMPs) because they lack information on the relative costs and benefits of BMPs (Gale et al., 1993). When agricultural extension agents worked with the producers to demonstrate the need for BMPs, most producers agreed to voluntarily implement the practices. However, it was found to be crucial that federal or state money be available to defer the costs associated with implementing technology-based BMPs (EPA, 2001a). Producer education will result in pollution-reduction goals being ``internalized'' by producers, which will lead to producers taking a more proactive role in pollution control. The governmental assistance in defraying implementation expenses will help prevent costs from being passed along to consumers, and will build positive relationships between producers and the agricultural extension agents who seek to help them manage their operations (Council, 2000).

Andy Wingo 2001-12-10