Over $1 million is available to reimburse Pennsylvania farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for developing plans to help improve local water quality. The deadline to register for reimbursement is April 1, 2020. You’ll be re-paid the cost of hiring a technical expert to develop plans after January 1, 2019, for manure management, nutrient management, or erosion and sediment control. You can submit more than one plan for reimbursement, up to a max of $6,000. Small farmers are especially encouraged to participate. To date, farmers have received almost $1.4 million in reimbursement through this program.
Please note that the forms and fact sheet have been updated. Old forms will not be accepted. Also note there is a new document, “Deliverable Standards for Plan Application Packages”, available to help farmers and planners submit a complete reimbursement package.
York Cost Share Programs
Since 1985, the York County Conservation District has been offering cost share and technical assistance to landowners and farmers with critical nutrient management, water quality, and soil erosion concerns. Planning and technical advice is provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and conservation district planners and technicians.
Soil and water are the farmers’ most important resources. Poor water quality and the loss of soil nutrients directly affect the profitability of a farm operation. An Ag E&S or conservation plan determines what problems need to be addressed and what to do fix the problems, commonly referred to as Best Management Practices (BMPs). Installing BMPs keep nutrients where they belong, control soil erosion, improve animal health, improve local water quality, and improve Chesapeake Bay 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. Common practices include:
The conservation district has cost share funding through various programs. These include the Chesapeake Bay Special Project Program, grants, York County Community Foundation, and the Exelon Habitat Improvement Program. Each program has its own rules. The USDA NRCS office also offers various federal assistance programs. All district programs require an application for assistance which is presented to the York County Conservation District Board for acceptance.