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Agricultural Conservation Assistance
Snyder County > Departments > Conservation District > Agricultural Conservation Assistance

 Technical Assistance

Much of the work done by the Snyder County Conservation District staff relates to agriculture and protecting our ground and surface waters. Along with other cooperating agencies, we have installed many best management practices (BMPs) on farms throughout Snyder County. Examples of agricultural BMPs are: improved barnyards, streambank fencing, manure storages, waste stacking structures, diversions, grass waterways, cattle stream crossings, milkhouse wastewater treatment systems, riparian buffers, cover cropping and no-till crop planting.

Examples of agricultural BMPs can be found in the Snyder County Agriculture BMP Guide and the PA Conservation Catalog. These booklets show many types of BMPs that can prevent sediment and nutrient pollution of surface and ground water. Go to the "Technical Assistance Publications" section to download either publication. 

From time to time, other publications are available either at the SCCD office or at the (USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service) NRCS-Middleburg Field Office.

The Conservation District has offered the following non-structural technical assistance:

  1. A corn testing program to help determine whether extra nitrogen sidedress fertilizer is needed was offered in 2014 and 2015. (In 2016, it was limited to farmers participating in the NRCS's Conservation Stewardship Program [CSP].) Contact Barry Spangler (570-837-3000, x118) for details or check out the wrap-up report for 2014 and 2016. The program has not been offered since 2016.
  2. A cornstalk nitrogen testing service that helps farmers determine whether enough nitrogen was applied is had been offered in 2015 and 2016. (View the 2015 and 2016 reports.) Contact Barry Spangler (570-837-3000, x118) for additional information. (A limited program was offered in 2017.) No decision has been made on whether we will offer this program again in 2018.

We have a database of people willing to offer their no-till planting services or equipment. You can even send us information if you wish to be on the list. Check out the "Technical Assistance Downloads" section for these items. We also can help out with manure spreader calibrations.

The SCCD also sponsors or hosts events for farmers and their family members to participate. For instance, the SCCD has held an annual Farmers Winter Meeting since 2001, field day events, Women in Agriculture workshops and in 2016, three soil health informational meetings. Check out our Meetings & Workshops web page for more details.

Note #1: The Conservation District is offering assistance to farmers by helping them write their own manure management plans or teaching them how to write these plans themselves. Contact Barry Spangler, Agricultural Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118, for more information.

Note #2: The SCCD had at one time offered financial assistance for farmers to hire a commercial plan writer to write their own manure management plans (MMPs) or nutrient management plans (NMPs). We are not currently doing so now. However, you can earn a tax credit by completing a REAP application if you hire someone to write your plan (see below). Also, there is a possibility that a statewide program may become available for farmers to hire a consultant to write a plan.

Contact Barry Spangler, Agricultural Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118, for more information.

For more information about the technical assistance farmers can receive, please contact the Conservation District or the NRCS-Middleburg Field Office.

 Financial Assistance

There are several programs that farmers can seek financial assistance from the Conservation District, NRCS and other agencies. They are as follows:

Examples of recent Conservation District financial assistance programs include no-till incentives, cover crop incentives, barnyard improvements, nutrient management plan (NMP) development, manure management plan (MMP)pasture and streambank fencing, cattle stream crossings, roof runoff controls and riparian buffers. Go to "Financial Assistance Downloads" for some examples.

At this time, the SCCD is gathering a list of farmers, agricultural operators, livestock and equine owners and farm landowners interested in best management practices (BMPs). Potential BMPs to be funded may include riparian and vegetative buffers, streambank fencing, improved barnyards, manure storages and pasture watering systems.

Although the SCCD currently does not have any funds, we may find possible financial assistance in the near future for agricultural and streamside BMPs. If interested, either contact Jason Winey, District Manager, at 570-837-3000, x112, or Barry Spangler, Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118.

Interested persons may also check with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at 401 West Market Street, Middleburg, (570-837-0007, x3) for possible financial assistance.

Note: Farmers interested in manure handling best management practices (BMPs) (such as manure storages, improved barnyard and milkhouse wastewater treatment systems) will need to have either an approved Act 38 NMP or a NRCS "590" standard NMP written first before becoming eligible for NRCS or Conservation District financial assistance.

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also has many programs such as:

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  • Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)
  • and others.

The USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers conservation cost-share and loan programs as well. For example:

  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Check out the "Financial Assistance External Links" section for more details on NRCS and FSA programs. You can also call either or both offices in Middleburg.

A PA tax credit program (REAP Program: Resource Enhancement and Protection Program) exists for farmers who installed or plan to install best management practices (BMPs, see above), have planted cover crops the prior crop year, or have purchased or will purchase no-till planting or specialized manure handling equipment. Farmers can also received tax credits for nutrient management plans (NMPs), manure management plans (MMPs), conservation plans and agricultural erosion & sedimentation (Ag. E&S) plans. REAP is through the PA State Conservation Commission (SCC) and PA Department of Revenue. 

Contact either Barry Spangler, SCCD Ag. Conservation Technician, or Joel Semke, SCC REAP Program Administrator in Harrisburg, PA, at 717-787-8821 for information. You can also receive information or download an application by going to the SCC's REAP website.

Note #1: The SCC is NOW accepting applications at this time for completed and proposed projects at this time.

Note #2: Any interested farmer must have an MMP or NMP (if produce or receive manure) AND an up to date conservation or agricultural erosion & sedimentation (Ag. E&S) plans on all land they own and rent to qualify for BMP and equipment tax credits. If not, tax credits can only go towards the development of MMPs, NMPs, conservation and Ag. E&S plans.

 Contact Information

Snyder County Conservation District
10541 Route 522
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-3000
Fax: (570) 837-7300
Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 Snyder County AG BMP Guide

The Snyder County Conservation District has recently updated their Agricultural BMP Guide in April 2016. It shows and explains various best management practices (BMPs) that farmers can install to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution on their operations. Examples include: improved barnyards, streambank fencing, cover cropping and waste storage structures. All items shown were BMPs installed in Snyder County. Almost all the BMPs were installed with technical and financial assistance from the Conservation District or the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

You can download a copy of the AG BMP Guide or request a printed copy by either stopping at our office or contacting Barry Spangler, Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118.

 SCCD Internal Links

 Technical Assistance Publications

 Technical Assistance Downloads & Links

 Financal Assistance External Download & Links

 External Contact Information

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Middleburg Field Office
401 West Market Street
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-0007, x3
Farm Service Agency
Snyder-Union Office
405 West Market Street
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-0007, x2
Fax: 1-855-831-7923