If you ask a farmer what is an agricultural erosion and sedimentation plan, he or she may have no idea what you are talking about. However, many are familiar with the term "conservation plan," a type of plan written by NRCS. In many instances, a recently written NRCS plan will meet what PA regulations call an "agricultural E&S plan." If you have a NRCS written conservation plan, you may want to check if it addresses the following:
- Is the crop rotation and tillage practices in the plan identical to what you are doing now? If not, a revision is strongly recommended.
- Does the plan address BMPs to control erosion within 100 ft. of streams, etc.? In PA, there must be at least 25% plant cover or crop residue within this zone.
- AHUAs must be identified and BMPs to fix or limit their impact. In PA, the farmer must prevent pollution to water bodies from these areas.
- Does the plan include soil loss calculations? In the past, NRCS did not include this information in the farm operator's copy. If not, check with the NRCS office and ask for a set of these calculations.
While NRCS or a another professional can write a conservation plan, a farmer is allowed to write his or her agricultural E&S plan. If you wish to do this, please contact the SCCD at 570-837-3000 for more information.
Note #1: Agricultural E&S plans, including NRCS developed conservation plans, must be available for review at the farm by PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or other designated staff if requested.
Note #2: Farmers and others wishing to write their own Ag E&S plan can go to www.paonestop.psu.edu. Users must have Firefox installed on their computer in order to use this web based program.
Note #3: A farmer can earn a tax credit by completing a REAP application if you hire someone to write your agricultural erosion & sedimentation (Ag. E&S) or conservation plan. Also, there is a statewide cost share program available for farmers to hire a consultant to write a plan. Details can be found in our Agricultural Conservation Assistance web page under the "Financial Assistance" section.