Best Management Practices Series
What is a "best management practice?"
Who decides what qualifies as a best management practice?
The Best Management Practices Series is...
An award-winning series of innovative publications:
Cover to cover, every BMP book will help you:
Let BMP books be your best-used, ready-reference guides.
Step into the BMP library, and see what belongs as useful guides on your shelves...
How Do I Obtain a Book?
Hardcopies of publications can be ordered through ServiceOntario
Online at ServiceOntario Publications
By phone through the ServiceOntario Contact Centre
Order in person through a public access terminal available at ServiceOntario Centres located across the province
AF151 - Soil Health in Ontario (PDF)
This publication provides a visual overview of the many best management practices that build back and safeguard soil health, along with soil health basics and challenges to soil quality.
AF153 - Adding Organic Amendments (PDF)
Increasing the level of your organic matter in your soil will improve soil health, resilience to degradation and productivity. This factsheet describes the nature and benefits of soil organic matter, sources of organic matter and best management practices (BMPs) for adding organic amendments to the soil.
This factsheet explains the benefits of buffer strips, considerations for design and planning, and tips for establishment and maintenance.
AF163 - Cropland Retirement (PDF)
Some agricultural soils are so inherently unproductive or challenged from past degradation that they are not suitable for intensive cropping. This factsheet looks at the problems with cropping marginal or fragile lands, the benefits of and options for cropland retirement, suitable planting types, planning steps and how-to tips.
Erosion control structures are designed to management runoff from cropland during intense storm events. This factsheet explains their role unique role in soil management, different types and their specific functions, how to get started, and design, management and maintenance considerations.
AF167 - Field Windbreaks (PDF)
Field windbreaks and shelterbelts are vegetative barriers that reduce wind and water erosion, while improving crop yields and protecting sensitive crops from wind damage. This factsheet provides an overview for designing, planting and maintaining field windbreaks around croplands.
AF169 - Inter-seeding Cover Crops (PDF)
Inter-Seeding Cover Crops is a 16 page booklet that describes different ways to inter-seed cover crops, how they benefit soil health and crop productivity, as well as tips to handle the challenges that occur with changes in crop management.
AF171 - Mulch Tillage (PDF)
Conservation cropping and tillage systems have been developed and refined over the last 40 years to help keep precious topsoil in place and promote soil health. These systems adjust management, inputs and hardware to grow crops while conserving soil and water - an achievable goal. This factsheet explains mulch tillage systems, which are well suited for heavier soils, high crop residues like corn, cover crops, plowdowns, and organic amendments.
This factsheet describes types of no-till systems, their benefits and challenges, and tips for successful implementation.
AF179 - Residue Management (PDF)
Residue Management is a 12 page booklet that provides an overview of the problem with bare soils, why residues work and best practices for managing residue in various crops.
This factsheet compares continuous cropping and crop rotation systems, outlines what to consider if you want to move to crop rotation, lists tips to making it work, and describes proven crop rotation combinations.
AF187 - Wind Strips (PDF)
This 12 page booklet explains the impact of wind erosion on soil health and productivity, explores options for wind control, describes types of wind strips, and offers planning, design, and maintenance tips.
AF189 - Winter Cover Crops (PDF)
This factsheet describes the benefits, challenges, types and opportunities for growing cover crops in post-harvest conditions in Ontario.
AF191 - Soil Erosion by Water (PDF)
Field slope gradient and length, rainfall, surface water runoff, tillage and cropping practices and soil type all play a role in a field's risk for erosion by water. This publication offers best practices and tips for keeping soil where it should be.
This early book in the BMP Series introduces a range of practical measures to sustainably manage farm woodlands for off-farm sales, on-farm use, woodlot health, and wildlife habitat protection and enhancement. A useful overview, the book's general content is explored in-depth in several subsequent BMP titles.
A detailed, broad-ranging view of crop production systems and how to improve their sustainability, yield, and economic viability is presented. The book lays out the basics of soil, nutrient and pest management, tillage systems, and conservation cropping and structures.
Soil Management is a practical guide for farm managers and professional agronomists - helping them solve every day cropland soil problems. It covers the basics on soil properties, diagnostics for soil problems and BMPs to prevent and correct problem soil conditions. A DVD version of the book is underway.
comprehensive introduction tours a typical farmstead (the home,
the barn, natural areas, storages, and the well), identifying potential
problem areas and what to do to reduce impacts and preserve quality
Irrigation shouldn't waste your time, money, or water. Get the latest on scheduling strategies, the pros and cons of sprinkler, drip, and sub-irrigation systems, water-saving tips, and special applications. Includes extensive crop-specific charts.
This introduction to IPM explains the basics, including pest monitoring, identification, and thresholds. Control options, as site and crop options, biological control, crop rotation, pest removal, trap crops, nutrient and water needs, and pesticide timing and application, are described.
Healthy fish and wildlife habitat on rural property has many benefits, and BMPs for improving habitat are compatible with cropland BMPs. Full of info for farmlands, woodlands, wetlands and other transitional areas, and aquatic areas. Prevention and control of nuisance wildlife are also covered.
No-till takes know-how of soil and residue management, specialized equipment, weed, disease and pest control, and crop selection. Whether you want to strip-till, slot-plant, pre-till, or ridge-till, this book is helpful for beginners and no-till veterans.
Growers seeking to create or refine a safe and practical system will find this a helpful overview. Structures, handling techniques, transportation, mixing and loading, spills management, and approaches to spraying, calibration, and maintenance are explored.
This essential companion for anyone completing a nutrient management plan explores the process in-depth. Learn how ti inventory nutrient sources, interpret results, plan application, keep records, monitor and adjust.
Well-managed buffer strips go a long way to filtering farmland runoff before it enters streams, wetlands, ponds and lakes. This has many benefits for water quality, erosion prevention, soil water-holding capacity, fish and habitat quality, livestock health, and drain maintenance. This book explains how to establish, maintain, and improve buffer strips according to the topography and land uses on your property.
Make the most of this important on-farm nutrient. This book explains what's in manure, how to mitigate concerns re: storage, odours and runoff, and how best to plan, set up and time its application.
The good news is that many existing BMPs for livestock production also reduce GHG emissions. This book presents BMPs for breeding, feeding, housing, quality control, grazing and manure storage to further reduce emissions.
Existing farm woodlots brim with potential: for timber, fuelwood, specialty products, income in kind, as well as important environmental and wildlife benefits. But it takes planning and management to make the most of them, and this book will show you how.
Properly planned and managed, streamside grazing can benefit the
environment through improved buffers and layout. This book will
help you develop a workable grazing management plan for your property
to balance production and environmental goals.
This book will help growers determine what nutrients they have,
what ones they need, when they're needed and how to apply them for
maximum efficiency and minimal risk to the environment.
Whether as crop trees, as windbreaks and fencerows, within buffer strips, in pasture, or intercropped with field crops,trees offer tremendous economic and environmental value. Learn how trees and plantings grow, and what treespecies need to flourish. Look to this book for sets of BMPs for planning, planting, establishing, andmanaging tree cover for a variety of functions.
How livestock mortalities are disposed of has implications for the environment, animal and public health, and consumer confidence. This book will help producers compare options for pickup, incineration, in-vessel disposal, burial and composting, and implement regulation-compatible BMPs. PDF (2 MB)
This book explains how biosolids are processed, their benefits and risks when applied to cropland, and societal safeguards. A set of best management practices for production and application rounds out the book, which will be of interest to farmers, rural residents, spreaders and municipalities.
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for crops and livestock. Unless
properly managed, phosphorus can move from land to lakes, rivers
and streams harming fish habitat and water quality.
Many Ontario farms rely on drainage systems to remove excess water,
extend field access, lengthen the growing season, conserve topsoil,
and generally make best use of agricultural lands. This 64 page
book provides information on the many improvements in drainage technology.
Soil erosion hurts cropland productivity and contributes to the pollution of watercourses, wetlands and lakes. The first step to keeping soil in its place is diagnosing the problem at a particular site. This 36-page booklet is filled with photographs to match field symptoms with erosion type, and provide practical solutions. Reduced tillage, cover crops and crop rotations, diversion terraces, earthen berms, other erosion control structures, grassed waterways, and bank and outlet stabilization are among the best management practices discussed.
8-page brochure introduces phosphorus and its various forms in soil,
manure and water. It outlines phosphorus issues and BMPs in a variety
of farm settings. The key best management practice approach is the
4 Rs - Right source, Right rate, Right time, Right place - to keep
"P" in the soil and out of runoff.
22-page booklet is an overview of energy conservation, efficiency
and generation around the farm. It begins where farmers should too:
a professional energy audit. The audit identifies how much energy
is being consumed in every facet of the operation, and where and
how efficiencies can be made.
BMP 28 - Best Management Practices and Self-Assessment - Water and Fertilizer Use For Outdoor Container Production
and nutrient management is fundamentally important to the profitable
production of container-grown woody and herbaceous crops.This
40-page booklet can help you to improve production efficiency
and protect our environment by making the best use of water and
BMP 29 - Self-Assessment and Best Management Practices for Water and Fertilizer Use In Greenhouse Vegetable Production
Water and nutrient management is important to the production of greenhouse vegetable crops. The management of these resources helps protect the environment and improve production efficiency. This 30-page booklet is written for Ontario's greenhouse vegetable growers. It guides the grower in developing a comprehensive assessment of their operation's water and fertilizer management practices and describes the use of key best management practices to address any challenges identified.
and nutrient management is fundamentally important to the profitable
production of container-grown woody and herbaceous crops. Best management
practices (BMPs) can help you to improve production efficiency and
protect our environment by making the best use of water and nutrient
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