Forecasting runoff risk and nutrient application planning with the Michigan EnviroImpact Tool

Use videos, fact sheet to learn how to use the MI EnviroImpact Tool, a free decision support tool for short-term manure application planning that shows daily runoff risk across Michigan.

Manure is spread by machine in a field. Utilizing manure as a fertilizer source can be a cost-effective way for farmers to meet crop nutrient needs and, with effective application, be environmentally sustainable.
Utilizing manure as a fertilizer source can be a cost-effective way for farmers to meet crop nutrient needs and, with effective application, be environmentally sustainable.

Are you a farmer applying manure or other nutrients to your fields? The MI EnviroImpact Tool has been developed to be a decision support tool for short-term manure and commercial fertilizer application planning. The tool’s runoff risk forecast comes from real-time precipitation and temperature forecasts, which are combined with snow melt, soil moisture, and landscape characteristics in order to forecast runoff events. With the tool, farmers can better determine when to apply manure or commercial fertilizers with lower runoff risks.

Help protect the Great Lakes

Nutrients found in manure and commercial fertilizers, like nitrogen and phosphorus, can enter rivers and streams as runoff, and in Michigan, almost all our waterways flow to the Great Lakes. When it rains, these nutrients have the potential to wash into nearby waterways, which can cause an excess of nutrients and lead to blue-green algae overgrowth, or harmful algal blooms. These algal blooms can have a big impact on the Great Lakes watershed. When decomposing, they consume oxygen that fish need to survive, and they can affect the quality of drinking water. With effective manure and nutrient application planning, farmers are able reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and help better protect the Great Lakes.

Manure and nutrient application runoff is just one potential source of harmful algal blooms, but with proper planning, farmers can help keep applied manure nutrients on their fields and reduce runoff entering the Great Lakes.

Learn more about the MI EnviroImpact Tool

Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, and collaborators developed these educational materials to increase understanding of how to use and navigate the MI EnviroImpact Tool.

Videos:

 

 

The Michigan EnviroImpact Tool was developed in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, MSU’s Institute of Water Research, Michigan Sea Grant and MSU Extension. The tool is part of a regional effort to improve runoff risk decision support tools in the Great Lakes basin supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), and National Weather Service North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC). 

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

This article was prepared by MSU under award NA14OAR4170070 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Regents of the University of Michigan. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Commerce, or the Regents of the University of Michigan.


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