University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Best management practices, environmental concerns


Increased nutrient and sediment losses from expanding agricultural practices and urban development in Arkansas are important environmental concerns. Best Management Practices (BMPs) are being implemented to lessen the effects of these developments on existing water bodies. There is, however, insufficient scientific base as to the effectiveness of these practices. A number of studies have been conducted in recent years to determine BMP effectiveness. Data from these studies can only be reliably used for the individual site from which they were obtained. When considered collectively, these data comprise quantitative effectiveness over a wide range of conditions and can thus be used to provide reliable estimates of BMP effectiveness. This study develops a tool for estimating BMP effectiveness, based on accumulation and analyses of data reported in previous studies, with a focus on site conditions and management interventions in Arkansas. This study incorporates data from a variety of regions in the southeastern U.S., which have site conditions and management similar to those in Arkansas. Developed within Microsoft® Access© from a pre-existing BMP characterization tool, this tool will be made accessible to local and state agencies and will aid rural and urban planners in developing management solutions for nutrients and sediment control. The tool describes individual BMPs in detail and gives site-specific estimates of their long-term effectiveness in sediment and nutrient control.