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. Go to the top of this page for details and contact us NOW!
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)
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), 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 receive 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.
It should be noted that any interested farmer must have an MMP or NMP (if produce or receive manure) AND an up to date conservation or 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 anyone at the Snyder County Conservation District office (570-837-3000), or Joel Semke, SCC REAP Program Administrator in Harrisburg, PA, at 717-705-4032 for information. You can also receive information or download an application by going to the SCC's REAP website.
The SCC plans to start accepting applications beginning on September 16, 2019, for completed and proposed projects at this time.
The PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) will be again 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, 2019, are eligible. Applicants must:
- Complete an application and submit it by April 1, 2020, or when funds expire, whichever happens first.
- Submit the plan(s), with registration form, for a completeness review by May 30, 2020.
You can download a packet of information containing:
- A registration form
- A reimbursement form, and
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Farmers interested in the program needs to send a completed registration form to Larson Design Group. After receiving an okay, the farmer then completes a reimbursement form with a copy of their plan(s) and sends them to Larson Design Group.
For basic information, contact Barry Spangler at 570-837-3000, x118.
Snyder County farmers should contact Sara Bolton, Larson Design Group, Inc., 1780 State Route 522, Selinsgrove, PA 17870 (Phone: 570-374-5700) and leave a message if you have other questions. She will forward you to someone who can supply you with detailed information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.