The MAEAP Livestock System Primarily focuses on environmental issues related to livestock activities, including manure handling, storage and field application, as well as conservation practices to protect water and prevent soil erosion. The Livestock System targets all Michigan livestock farms, regardless of species or size. The Livestock System concentrates on production and conservationpractices, equipment, structures and management activities associated with animal producation.
For livestock producers, the ultimate accomplishment in MAEAP is Livestock System verification. Some producers may elect to immediately pursue the completion of a CNMP and verification. However, many livestock producers may find that using the Livestock*A*Syst will assit the producer in smaller, progressive steps of environmental improvement that are more economical and practical.
The MAEAP Livestock*A*Syst is designed to meet the needs of those producers who choose to use a risk management-based assessment to work their way to MAEAP verification via a progressive approach.
The Livestock*A*Syst is a series of risk questions and answers about livestock management practices reflecting components of a CNMP. Producers can work one-on-one with a non-regulatory MAEAP partner to identify potential environmental risks and to develop a confidential Livestock Improvement Action Plan to reduce those risks. The action plan is the producer’s plan and can be completed at his/her own pace. There is no deadline. Producers determine how far and how fast to go.
Producers have several options for using Livestock*A*Syst:
- Complete the risk questions to identify practices that present a high risk of contaminating water resources. At this point, producers may continue using Livestock*A*Syst to develop an implementation plan, or they may determine that they want to obtain the services of a certified CNMP provider to help them through the process of developing a plan to implement the desired changes.
- Develop a Livestock Improvement Action Plan. Producers may choose to implement the action plan using their own resources, or they may choose to enter into an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) contract to obtain cost-share assistance. The EQIP contract may include the development of a CNMP.
- Complete implementation of the Livestock Improvement Action Plan prepares the producer to develop a CNMP, if that is his or her choice, and achieve MAEAP Livestock System verification. The owner of a MAEAP verified farm is eligible for a variety of incentives. The Livestock*A*Syst allows owners of small and medium-sized farms to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their practices are in conformance witht he Right to Farm (RTF) Siting and Manure Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs).
- Farms that have been verified in the MAEAP Livestock System using a CNMP may complete the Livestock*A*Syst for reverification.