Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Assessing the Impact of Nutrient Management Certification in Delaware.

Sydney Riggi1, David Hansen2, and Gregory Binford2. (1) Univ of Delaware, 16483 County Seat Hwy, Georgetown, DE 19947, (2) Univ of Delaware, 16483 County Seat Hwy, Georgetown, DE 19947

The Delaware Nutrient Management Act requires individuals managing more than 10 acres of nutrient-applied land, or who manage more than 8,000 lbs of animals, to become certified through the state nutrient management program.  Approximately 2,300 certifications have been completed since January, 2001, each of which require from six to 12 hours of classroom attendance.  The goal of this certification, which has been conducted by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, is to educate the participants regarding the relationship between water quality issues and land application of nutrients.  To assess the impact of the certification program a survey was mailed to more than 2500 certification class participants.   This presentation will summarize the results of this survey.  Results address three basic issues; i) changes in perceptions of the water quality issues, ii) changes in knowledge of appropriate and effective management practices to protect water quality, and iii) changes in management practices resulting from this training.