Background Information

Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality Act

What is the Agriculture Water Quality Act?
The Kentucky General Assembly passed the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Act in 1994. The goal of the act is to protect surface and groundwater resources from pollution as a result of agriculture and silviculture (forestry) activities.

Whom does the Agriculture Water Quality Act affect?
The Agriculture Water Quality Act requires all landowner/land users with ten (10) or more acres that is being used for agriculture or silviculture operations to develop and implement a water quality plan based upon guidance from the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Plan.

How are agriculture and silviculture defined under the Agriculture Water Quality Act?
"Agriculture operation" means any farm operation on a tract of land, including all income producing improvements and farm dwellings, together with other farm buildings and structures incident to the operation and maintenance of the farm, situated on ten (10) contiguous acres or more of land used for the production of livestock, livestock products, poultry, poultry products, milk, milk products, or silviculture products or for the growing of crops such as, but not limited to, tobacco, corn, soybeans, small grains, fruits and vegetables, or devoted to and meeting the requirements and qualifications for payments to agriculture programs under an agreement with the state or federal government.

"Silviculture" generally means that part of forestry that involves growing and harvesting of trees.

What is the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Plan?
The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Plan consists of best management practices from six different areas - Silviculture, Pesticides and Fertilizers, Farmstead, Crops, Livestock, and Streams and Other Waters. Each BMP includes definitions and descriptions, regulatory requirements, Agriculture Water Quality Authority requirements, design information, practice maintenance, technical assistance, cost share assistance, recommendations and references. This statewide plan will serve as a guide to individual landowners/land users as they develop water quality plans for their individual operations.

What is the process for developing and implementing an individual water quality plan?
Individual landowners/land users must fully implement applicable requirements of the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Plan by October 23, 2001. Various tools are available to help landowners develop their plan. This web site contains an on-line tool to be used by landowners to assess their operation and identify best management practices to be included in their individual plan. After identifying the best management practices, landowners/land users implement these practices on their land. Assistance to implement the plan can be obtained through a variety of technical agencies.

If you have questions regarding the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Plan please contact:
Amanda Abnee Gumbert
Extension Water Quality Liaison
University of Kentucky
N-122 Agricultural Science Ctr. North
Lexington , KY 40546-0091
Send email to: