Aug 11, 2023
Public comments on ag management practices sought by Michigan Commission of Agriculture
The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), has opened the annual review process for proposed revisions of the 2024 Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs).
According to Michigan Farm Bureau’s Government Relations Specialist Matt Kapp, the GAAMPs form the underlying guidance and framework for Michigan’s Right to Farm (RTF) program within MDARD in response to nuisance complaints involving production agriculture.
“RTF program staff evaluate farm activities to decide whether a farm is following GAAMPs,” Kapp said in a news release. “So, industry input on proposed GAAMP revisions is absolutely essential to ensure they’re realistic and based on sound science.”
The GAAMPs are reviewed each year by committees comprised of various experts and revised or updated as necessary. Any proposed GAAMPs changes are reviewed and approved by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“GAAMPs are generally accepted agricultural management practices that should be agreed upon by industry specialists with expertise in modern farming practices, such as farmers and ag organizations, staff from USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Michigan State University,” Kapp said in the release.
Although GAAMPS are not regulations, producers who voluntarily incorporate the recommendations into their ongoing farm operations gain nuisance protection under the state’s Right to Farm law, according to the release.
“It’s a proactive way for farmers to mitigate potential future conflicts between farmers and non-farm neighbors,” Kapp said in the release.
All eight GAAMPs are available for public comment, including:
- Manure Management and Utilization
- Care of Farm Animals
- Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Facilities
- Farm Markets
- Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control
- Nutrient Utilization
- Cranberry Production
- Irrigation Water Use
The proposed draft GAAMPS will be available for public review and comment until Aug. 25 at Michigan.gov/RighttoFarm. Comments can be submitted via MDARD-RTF@Michigan.gov.
Comments can be mailed to MDARD’s Environmental Stewardship Division, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909 and must be received by no later than 5 p.m. EST on Aug. 25.
MDARD plans to forward all comments received by the due date to the respective GAAMPs task force committee chairpersons for consideration before final review and presentation to the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development at their Sept. 20 meeting.