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    In 1981, the Michigan legislature passed the Michigan Right to Farm Act. This act guaranteed certain protections to farmers, provided they followed specified guidelines. These guidelines took the form of Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices or GAAMPs. (1)

     

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    The Michigan Right to Farm Act defines GAAMP as follows: “'Generally accepted agricultural and management practices' means those practices as defined by the Michigan commission of agriculture. The commission shall give due consideration to available Michigan department of agriculture information and written recommendations from the Michigan state university college of agriculture and natural resources extension and the agricultural experiment station in cooperation with the United States department of agriculture natural resources conservation service and the consolidated farm service agency, the Michigan department of natural resources, and other professional and industry organizations.” (2)
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The following are the GAAMPs that have been developed, followed by the year of implementation:
     
     
    Manure Management and Utilization (1988)
     
    Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control (1991)
    Nutrient Utilization (1993)
    Care of Farm Animals (1995)
    Cranberry Production (1996)
    Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Production Facilities (2000)
    Irrigation Water Use (2003) (4)
     
     
     
     
     
    Manure Management and Utilization
    The Manure Management and Utilization GAAMPs cover several different areas. These include: “runoff control and wastewater management,” “odor management,” “construction design and management for manure storage and treatment facilities,” and “manure application to land.” (5)
     
     
    Runoff control and wastewater management does several things. First and foremost, it tells farmers if runoff control is required. It requires, and sets standards for, the storage of manure runoff. It also gives guidelines in the treatment of wastewater runoff. (5)
     
     
     
     
     
    Odor management instructs farmers how, and when, odor producing materials should be applied to the land, and where they should be stored. Much of these guidelines are dedicated to minimizing the effect of farm activities on populated residential areas. (5)
     
     
     
     
     
    Construction design and management for manure storage and treatment facilities, instructs farmers to build storage facilities to predetermined specifications. It also instruct farmers, that liners must be used in the storage facilities in order to protect the groundwater, unless the soil is impermeable. Facilities must also plan for, and be able to manage, a 25 year rain event. (5)
     
     
     
     
     
    Manure application to land, instructs farmers in what constitutes an acceptable application practice. It also instructs farmers in the testing of soil, and the preservation of those test records. (5)
     
     
     
     
     
    Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control
    The pesticide utilization and pest control GAAMPs, cover pesticide labeling, obtaining certification for those that purchase pesticides, the methods of pesticide application, use of application equipment, worker safety when handling pesticides, and allows for alternative, non-chemical pest controls. They also cover environmental protection, and emergency pollution procedures. They cover standards for application, requirements for record keeping, transportation of pesticides, and disposal of pesticides and pesticide containers. Finally they cover on the farm storage, and information regarding technical assistance for use and disposal of pesticides. (6)
     
     
     
     
     
    Nutrient Utilization
    The nutrient utilization GAAMPs are mainly concerned with fertilizer. They cover the storage of fertilizer, including requirements regarding the location, construction, and security of said facilities. The GAAMPs lay out application practices. This includes soil testing, recommendations for application, including non-chemical fertilizers, and record keeping. Soil conservation, and irrigation management are covered in order to minimize the amount of nutrient loss, and as a result, the amount of fertilizer required to replace lost nutrients. Container grown plants, and organic materials are covered as well. (7)
     
     
     
     
     
    Care of Farm Animals
    These GAAMPs cover many different animal types, but follow a general layout. They lay out acceptable nutrition practices, proper housing, sanitation, and transportation, as well as appropriate health and medical procedures. Certain animals receive special guidelines, such as observation guidelines for swine, or euthanasia guidelines for fox and mink. (3)
     
     
     
    The animal groups are as follows: beef cattle, bison and llama; swine (pigs); dairy cattle; equine (horses); privately owned cervidae (deer, elk, moose, reindeer, and caribou); veal (usually dairy calves); sheep and goats; laying chickens; domestic rabbits; farm-raised mink and fox; aquaculture species (fish); and broilers, turkeys, and gamebirds (broiler chickens are not commercially produced in Michigan). (3)
     
     
     
     
     
    Cranberry Production
    Cranberry production is singled out for its own set of guidelines because of the unique production methods required. Cranberries are a wetland crop, and as such, must be grown in a wetland environment. In order to avoid adversely affecting the land, GAAMPs were developed. (8)
     
     
     
    The GAAMPs for Cranberry Production lay out several things. There are specific requirements regarding where cranberry production can take place, and facilities must meet certain standards. There are requirements with regard to water management, which includes irrigation and flooding (a technique used to harvest the berries). The fertilizer used must be based on certain standards, and there are stringent pest control, and pesticide standards. There are guidelines for pollination, which requires bees, and the pruning of the vines on which cranberries grow. The harvesting and sanding (the spreading of sand to encourage growth and suppress pests) sections also contain recommendations. (8)
     
     
     
     
     
    Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Production Facilities
    This set of guidelines informs on what constitutes an acceptable site for various types of facilities. It also covers how one goes about developing a plan to manage said facilities. Additionally the GAAMPs go over the verification and site review process for farmers who want the protection provided under the Michigan Right to Farm Act, which comes from adherence to the relevant GAAMPs. (9)
     
     
     
     
     
    Irrigation Water Use
    The irrigation guidelines covers several areas: system management covers the proper use and maintenance of an irrigation system, record keeping requirements are set out, irrigation scheduling covers where, when, and how irrigation should occur, application practices are set out, and special cases in which irrigation may be necessary are covered. (10)
     
     
     
     
     
    1. Act 93 of 1981 Section 286.473 Section 3.1 http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4y1x2s55vkrymn55adeyfozj))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-286-473. October 14, 2008.
    2. Act 93 of 1981 Section 286.472 Section 2d http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4y1x2s55vkrymn55adeyfozj))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-286-473. October 14, 2008.
    3.Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for the Care of Farm Animals, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 22, 2008
    4. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Cranberry Production, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 14, 2008
    5. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Manure Management and Utilization, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 14, 2008
    6. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 14, 2008
    7. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Nutrient Utilization, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 14, 2008
    8. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Cranberry Production, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 14, 2008
    9. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Production Facilities, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 22, 2008
    10. Michigan Department of Agriculture: Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Irrigation Water Use, March 2008. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1567_1599_1605---,00.html. October 22, 2008
     
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