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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. Examples include materials on no-tilling, cover cropping and workbooks to help write a manure management plan (MMP). We also sell soil test kits for farmers to analyze nitrogen needs (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), pH and other soil nutrient levels.

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 and examples.

Note #1: The Conservation District offers assistance to farmers by helping them write their own manure management plans (MMPs) 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 statewide program available for farmers to hire a consultant to write a plan. Scroll down to the "Financial Assistance" section for more details.

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, upcoming and potential Conservation District financial assistance programs include barnyard improvements, pasture and streambank fencing, cattle stream crossings, pasture watering systems, manure storages, roof runoff controls and riparian buffers. Go to "Financial Assistance Downloads" to read 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 are now seeking possible financial assistance for agricultural and streamside BMPs. If interested, either contact Jason Winey, District Manager, at 570-837-3000, x112, Lauren Maguire, Watershed Specialist, at 570-837-3000, x114 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: In most to all cases, 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.

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The PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) is currently offering a cost share program for agricultural operators and landowners to help with costs for hiring a commercial plan writer to develop the following:

  • a manure management plan (MMP)
  • a nutrient management plan (NMP)
  • an agricultural erosion & sedimentation plan (Ag. E&S Plan)
  • a conservation plan (similar to a plan written by NRCS)

Any of the plans listed above and completed after January 1, 2017, are eligible. Applicants must:

  1. Complete an application and submit it by April 1, 2019, or when funds expire, whichever happens first.
  2. Submit the plan(s), with registration form, for a completeness review by May 30, 2019.

For basic information, contact Barry Spangler at 570-837-3000, x118. An application and additional information can be downloaded here. After an application is accepted and the plan(s) is(are) completed, a reimbursement form is needed.

Snyder County farmers should contact Sara Bolton, Larson Design Group, Inc., 1780 State Route 522, Selinsgrove, PA 17870 (Phone: 570-374-5700) for detailed information.

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The PA DEP's Small Business Ombudsman's Office has a grant program in which small businesses, including agricultural operations, can apply for grant to fund natural resource conservation best management practices (BMPs) that  prevent sediment and nutrient pollution. Possible projects include forested/grass riparian buffer plantings, streambank fencing and barnyard runoff controls.

The maximum grant award allowed is $9,500.00 and a match up to 50% of equipment/material costs is possible. This is a first-come, first-serve award basis.

For more information, contact the DEP Small Business Ombudsman's Office at 717-772-5160 or epadvantagegrant@pa.gov.

 Contact Information

 
Snyder County Conservation District
sccd@snydercd.org
 
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