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Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs)
The Michigan Right to Farm Act, P.A. 93, was enacted in 1981 to provide farmers with nuisance protection. This state law authorizes the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop and adopt Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs) for farms and farm operations in Michigan. These farm management practices are scientifically based and updated annually to utilize current technology promoting sound environmental stewardship on Michigan farms.
By utilizing GAAMPs, farmers and Michigan residents benefit: through environmental protection of natural resources; sound management of agricultural inputs; and sustaining a strong and stable agricultural industry.
While adherence to the GAAMPs does not act as a complete barrier to complaints or lawsuits, it does provide an umbrella of protection from nuisance litigation. In addition to conformance to the GAAMPs, farmers also need to comply with all state and federal environmental and agricultural laws.
Care of Farm Animals
GAAMPs for the Care of Farm Animals were first adopted in 1995 and include 19 species of animals raised on Michigan farms. Animal care includes nutrition, manure management and sanitation, animal handling and restraint, transportation, facilities and equipment, health care and medical procedures, and recommendations for the environment. Domestication of livestock has made farm animals dependent on humans. Humans have responded to this dependence with a commitment to practice humane conduct toward domestic animals and to prevent avoidable suffering at all stages of their lives.
Michigan has a favorable climate, proper soils, and the fruit processing capability to support a significant cranberry industry. Producers need to follow sound pesticide utilization/pest control, nutrient utilization, and other technical management practices in order to minimize the environmental risks associated with cranberry production. The cranberry plant is a wetland crop species. Therefore, construction of cranberry beds typically involves activities in wetlands. Because of this unique situation, both technical and regulatory practices were adopted for cranberry production in this set of GAAMPs.
Michigan has a diverse variety of farm fresh products. Many of these products can and are being directly marketed to the public locally. The Farm Market GAAMPs, first adopted in 2010, help define and provide guidance as to what constitutes an on-farm market and farm market activities.
Irrigation Water Use
GAAMPs for Irrigation Water Use are based on the core principle of stewardship. Stewardship in irrigation management includes conservation of water quantity, protection of water quality, and productivity of soil, plant quality, and crop yield. The GAAMPs do not establish legal criteria to resolve water use conflicts nor do they confer priority rights to water use.
Manure Management / Utilization
GAAMPs for Manure Management and Utilization were first adopted in June 1988. Careful storage, handling, and land application of manure is needed to utilize nutrients, control odors, and protect water resources. These practices include recommendations for: Runoff Control, Odor Management, Manure Storage Facility Design, Manure Application to Land, Record Keeping, and Manure Management System Plans.
GAAMPs for Nutrient Utilization include guidance on environmentally sound land application of commercial fertilizers, manure, and other organic materials; such as food processing by-products, municipal wastes, and aquatic plant materials for crop production. Nutrient management practices include regular soil testing, manure nutrient analysis, and realistic crop yield goals. Areas covered by these practices include: On farm fertilizer storage/containment, Land application of fertilizer, Soil conservation and erosion control, Irrigation management, and Container grown (greenhouse) plants.
Pesticide Utilization-Pest Control
American agriculture has been able to meet consumer demands for a reliable and abundant food supply through the use of improved technology. For over 50 years, this technology has included the use of pesticides and other pest management techniques. GAAMPs for Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control were first adopted in 1991. They address worker safety, application procedures, transportation, storage, disposal of unused pesticides and containers, and record keeping.
To establish a new livestock farm operation or expand an existing facility is a complex process. Water quality protection, odor control, existing land use and ownership constraints, and future land use or development patterns, are all considered in this process. Also included are facilitating feasibility and cost efficiency for the operator, maintaining esthetic character minimizing conflicts with adjacent land users, and complying with all applicable state and federal laws and local regulations. Through careful planning livestock farmers can increase productivity while developing or continuing good relationships with their surrounding community.