The MAEAP Cropping System focues on field-related environmental issues, such as irrigation and water use, soil conservation, and nutrient and pest management. The Cropping System is applicable to all crops grown in Michigan, including field crops and vegetables, fruit orchards, greenhouses crops and ornamental trees.
Each Crop*A*Syst tool includes a series of risk question to assess effective crop management practices and ground and surface water protection resources. Crop*A*Syst helps develop and implement a plan to prevent water resource contamination while maintaining economic crop production. Plans conform to applicable Michigan Right-to-Farm guidelines and comply with applicable state and federal environmental regulations.
Crop*A*Syst will assist you to develop and implement a management plan that prevents contamination of groundwater and surface water resources and maintains economic crop production. Your plan will be in conformance with applicable Michigan-Right-to-Farm guideliness and applicable state and federal environmental regulations.
Nutrients used in agricultural production come from chemical fertilizers and natural sources such as manure, legumes and biosolids (sewage sludge). All nutrients, whether synthetic or naturally occurring, can become mixed with surface water or groundwater by natural processes such as runoff and leaching. Nitrate contamination of groundwater and phosphorus contamination of surface water can be problems in Michigan. Crop*A*Syst will assess your current nutrient management practices and identify alternative management practices that, when implemented, will reduce nutrient losses to the environment.
Virtually all crops produced in Michigan may be threatened by serious pest problems – weeds, insects and disease-producing organisms. Producers are encouraged to adopt pest management practices that achieve the desired commodity quality and yield while minimizing any adverse effects on non-target organisms, humans, and soil and water resources. Crop*A*Syst will assess your current pest management practices and identify alternative management practices that, when implemented, will reduce negative impacts tot he environment.
Producers who complete the Crop*A*Syst assessment will be able to determine what management and record-keeping changes (if any) will be needed for their cropping system to be environmentally assured through MAEAP. Once a producer develops and implements a plan to address the risks indicated by the Crop*A*Syst assessment, he/she can contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to request Cropping System verification. An MDARD inspector will schedule a site visit to complete the verification process.