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:
- 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. No decision has been made on whether we will offer this program again in 2017.
- 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. No decision has been made on whether we will offer this program again in 2017.
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.