Tool and technicians can assist greenhouse owners with protecting water resources
The Greenhouse*A*Syst document and Michigan Water Stewardship Technicians can advise greenhouse owners in evaluating current practices relative to Right-to-Farm GAAMP’s (generally accepted agricultural management practices).
The Greenhouse*A*Syst document is a tool that was developed by Michigan State University Extension and theMichigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist greenhouse owners with the best management practices to protect water resources. There is assistance available to complete the Greenhouse*A*Syst document and work towards Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) verification.
The format of the document is designed as a question-and-answer series based on the most common greenhouse practices in which you would choose an already identified answer. The questions are sorted by categories such as pesticide storage and handling, septic systems and soil and water conservation practices. The answers are broken into three categories; low risk (recommended) medium risk (potential hazard) and high risk (significant hazard) helping identify areas that need improvement. The document also educates owners on State and Federal regulation, Right-To-Farm conformance guidelines and what is required for MAEAP verification.
There are also Michigan Water Stewardship Technicians located around the state that are available to work with greenhouses. This is a confidential, voluntary and non-regulatory program that can help chart the path toward environmental assurance for greenhouse businesses. If you are interested in working with a Michigan Water Stewardship Technician, view the list of contacts at: http://www.michfb.com/files/2010/water_technician.pdf