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What is the Crop Assessment System (Crop*A*Syst)?
The Crop Assessment System (Crop*A*Syst) is a series of risk questions that will help you assess how effectively your crop management practices protect groundwater and surface water resources. The risk questions are grouped in the following sections:
Each risk question assesses the impact of your cropping practice on groundwater and surface water resources. The risk question answers indicate whether management practices have a low, medium or high risk of contamination. Producers are generally recommended to adopt the low-risk management practice.
Risk questions that address management practices that are regulated by state or federal law indicate illegal practices with black bold print.
Risk questions that address management practices covered by the Michigan Right-to-Farm Act indicate the risk level required for protection from nuisance lawsuits with green bold italic print.
Finally, a green box indicates the management level(s) required for MAEAP verification. MAEAP management requirements are aligned with state and federal environmental regulations, the Michigan-Right-to-Farm Act and environmentally based agronomic management practices that are supported by research. The records and/or plans that indicate the approved management practices have been implemented on the farm are listed in the far right column. This evidence will provide the basis for awarding environmental assurance through MAEAP.
Your agricultural representatives (both public and private) can assist you to make the appropriate management changes to become environmentally assured through MAEAP.
How does Crop*A*Syst Work?
1) Select all relevant risk question groups for your farm.
2) Answer the risk questions by selecting the answer that best describes management practices used on your farm. Indicate your risk level in the column to the right. Skip any questions that don’t apply to your cropping system.
Note: For MAEAP verification, complete the risk questions with a Crop*A*Syst trained individual. Your groundwater technician is located in the Conservation District or the MSU Extension county office.
3) After completing each group of risk questions, list the practices that present a high risk of contaminating groundwater and surface water resources in the Cropping System Improvement Action Plan (printed inside the front cover of the bulletin). Also include any medium-risk practices that do not meet MAEAP verification requirements.
4) In the Cropping System Improvement Action Plan, list:
• Management practice(s) that you plan to implement that will reduce the identified risk.
• Sources of technical assistance.
• Target dates for accomplishing the changes.
• Target date for MAEAP verification of your Cropping System.
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