Livestock producers in the western U.S. can now take advantage of free and confidential Environmental Assessment and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning assistance. The Environmental Resources Coalitions (ERC), a non-profit group dedicated to promoting water quality, recently received $3.9 million in federal grant money to help livestock producers located west of the Mississippi River reduce contamination in water runoff. The grant money will be administered as part of a program called the Comprehensive Livestock Environmental Assessment & Nutrient Management Plan (CLEANmp). The project goal is to provide confidential, no-cost technical assistance to livestock operations to help identify and address issues such as nitrogen and phosphorus application, water quality issues and odor generation.

Livestock and poultry producers must request the assistance. Information about applying for the program is available at the CLEANmp Web site. Eligible Technical Service Providers, registered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to work in their respective states, will provide the assistance. The CLEANmp program will contract with the local technical service providers at no cost to the livestock producers. Producers will then receive free and confidential reports--an environmental assessment, a nutrient management plan, or both. These reports will provide practical recommendations for the producer’s operation.

The program is expected to run through 2011, but funding is limited and assistance will stop when the grant funds are expended. Learn more about the program and view a map of the eligible states online. For more information about the CLEANmp, contact project manager Betty Wyse, or project technical director Mark White at 573-634-7078.