Erosion Control for Agriculture

Assisting farmers and landowners to protect one of their most valuable resources has been the cornerstone of the Conservation District’s Ag Resource Program since its inception.  Saving topsoil and managing nutrient run-off to protect water quality continues to be the focus of our efforts.  These preservation efforts benefit farmers as well as all county residents. 

Conservation planning plays a major role in the water quality of our local streams & rivers.  Because of the far-reaching effects of local farm practices, our farmers are being asked to develop and implement conservation and nutrient management plans and install Best Management Practices (BMPs), and they look to the Conservation District and our U.S.D.A. partners to assist them in this effort. 

A conservation plan determines what problems need to be addressed and what to do to fix the problems, commonly referred to as Best Management Practices (BMPs).  Installing BMPs keeps nutrients where they belong, control soil erosion, improve animal health, improve local water quality.

BMPs are specialized practices designed to control soil erosion, manure and nutrient runoff, store animal wastes, establish vegetation, and manage the application of animal waste and fertilizer.  The conservation plan for your farm will include some combination of practices that address your particular situation.

Do you know there are Chapter 105 Regulations Affecting Agriculture?

Pennsylvania’s Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management)
regulations have existed since 1972. On November 19, 2010, additions and changes to
the regulations took effect. All farms are required to develop and implement a written
plan to reduce erosion when plowing and tilling (includes no-till cropping) and Animal Heavy Use Areas (AHUA) disturbing more than 5,000 sq. ft.  Under Ch. 102, all agricultural plowing and tilling and AHUAs are required to implement agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs). Many farmers are familiar with the term conservation plan, which is a “written plan that identifies conservation practices and includes site specific Best Management Practices (BMPs)  agricultural plowing and tilling activities and animal heavy use areas”. An NRCS conservation plan can be used to comply with the new Chapter 102 regulations if it meets all of the new requirements.

Areas within 100 ft of a stream must maintain a minimum 25% plant cover/crop residue or
implement additional BMPs.

 

Common BMP practices include:

 

Permanent Vegetative Cover

Conservation Tillage/No-till

Cover Crops

Animal Waste Management

Contour Farming/Stripcropping

Waste Management System

Brochures
Some Facts About Soil Basics

Diversion

Streambank Protection or Fencing

Terraces

Nutrient Management Planning

Grassed Waterway

Soil and Manure Analysis

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The Basics of Ag E&S Requirements
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"On Pasture" Newsletter
Agriculture
Manure Management
Nutrient Management
No-Till Planting
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Ag Environmental Regulations: Am I In Compliance?
Ag Runoff Fact Sheet
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