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Vegetative Filter Strips

Vegetative Filter Strip

Vegetative filter strips are land areas of either planted or indigenous vegetation, situated between a potential pollutant-source area and a surface-water body that receives runoff. The term 'buffer strip' is sometimes used interchangeably with filter strip, but filter strip is the preferred usage. Runoff may carry sediment and organic matter, and plant nutrients and pesticides that are either bound to the sediment or dissolved in the water. A properly designed and operating filter strip provides water-quality protection by reducing the amount of sediment, organic matter, and some nutrients and pesticides, in the runoff at the edge of the field, and before the runoff enters the surface-water body. Filter strips also provide localized erosion protection since the vegetation covers an area of soil that otherwise might have a high erosion potential.

Often constructed along stream, lake, pond or sinkhole boundaries, filter strips installed on pasture or cropland not only help remove pollutants from runoff, but also serve as habitat for wildlife, and provide an area for field turn rows and haymaking. Livestock should be fenced out of filter strips to maximize the pollutant filtering potential. Additionally, filter strips may provide increased safety by moving machinery operations away from steep stream and ditch banks.

Filter strips are an edge-of-the-field best management practice. They often are used in conjunction with other sound agricultural and land management practices, such as pasture management, soil testing, and proper nutrient and pest management. Because of their potential environmental benefits, filter strips are recommended by a number of state and federal agencies as both an urban and agricultural best management practice.

Example of a vegetative filter strip

-Source: Ohio State University Extension

New Jersey Adopts Equine Agricultural Management Practice (AMP)

On June 26, 2008, the State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC) adopted agricultural management practices (AMP) that expand the list of equine-related activities eligible for right-to-farm protection and set forth the standards farmers will have to meet to qualify for that protection. The rules also detail what income may be used to satisfy the production requirements in the definition of "commercial farm" in the Right to Farm Act. One AMP's new eligibility conditions is that an equine operation must be in compliance with a farm conservation plan prepared in accordance with the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). The guide is available online at

For More information on the new Agricultural Management Practices and the Right to Farm Act, visit

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New Jersey Pasture Management Guide for Horse Owners
Pasture Management Guide for Horse Owners (PDF, 2.15 MB) - entire document