Location: Statewide Minnesota
Client: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
In 2014 Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) created the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). This tool certifies and classifies the water quality index for runoff water from agricultural fields.
In 2015, HEI was contracted to complete Phase II of this tool to develop a web-based calculator that auto-populates the nutrient management section of the MAWQCP. This allows the MDA to easily incorporate diverse management plans into MAWQCP.
Phase II began with a series of meetings between HEI and MDA staff, including two discovery meetings to define the needs of the project. This project definition phase allowed HEI to evaluate the feasibility of the tools, as well as describing how the Nutrient Management Planner will be integrated into the MAWQCP.
Next, HEI developed wireframes to let the MDA view what the tool would look like once completed. This gave the MDA the opportunity to give input and ideas as to the look of the application in the very beginning of the project.
Though the Manure and Crop Nutrient Calculator is a separate web-based application, it was designed to work seamlessly with the MAWQCP.
The ease of use is very beneficial as a large variety of people use these applications, from farmers to regulatory officials. Users can view a map to identify their fields and query information, as well as edit maps to add buffer areas, soil test results, cropping rotations, and conservation practices. These changes will auto-populate into MAWQCP, giving users access to the most accurate information available.
The Manure and Crop Nutrient Calculator can be viewed here.