Easily evaluate the impacts of field-level best management practices on farm scale phosphorus (P) loss reductions and identify modifications to achieve water quality improvement targets on the watershed-scale.
Stone Environmental developed the Farm Phosphorus Reduction Planner (Farm-PREP), an integrated web-based application, to help farmers, technical crop consultants, and stakeholders easily evaluate the impacts of field-level best management practices on farm scale phosphorus (P) loss reductions and identify modifications to their field operations to help achieve water quality improvement targets on the watershed-scale.
Farm-PREP brings the power of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service’s farm-scale water quality model, the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender model (APEX), to a much broader audience through a streamlined and user-friendly user interface allowing for evaluation of thousands of farm management scenarios. The tool integrates agronomic and hydrologic science, numerical modeling, and web-based application development that is packed with science and engineering on the back-end, yet elegant and intuitive on the user-facing front end.
Users can quickly sketch their farm fields using the application drawing tool or they can upload an Esri compatible shapefile of their farm fields.
The APEX model is a physically-based agronomic and water quality model designed for simulations at the field to farm/small watershed scale. With this tool, farmers can effectively and efficiently identify modifications to their field operations in order to meet a target reduction in P leaving the farm and help to achieve water quality improvement goals at the watershed scale.
Stone has an established relationship with the developers of the APEX model at the USDA Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple, TX. Beyond this project, Stone has frequently assisted with model testing and parameterization efforts in order to continuously improve the model. Specifically, Stone has worked to refine the parameterization of Vermont best management practices to more accurately model typical practices on Vermont dairy farms. The Farm-PREP user interface provides the first streamlined, user friendly interface to APEX, making it accessible to farmers, crop consultants, and others.
Users provide current crop rotations and agronomic practices, and Farm-PREP generates model simulations of multiple combinations of field practices to arrive at a farm-level plan that meets pre-determined farm phosphorous reduction targets.