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Conservation District
Snyder County > Departments > Conservation District
 
 

 Special Update for the Agricultural Community

DEP to Review Compliance of Selected Farms in Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Continuing efforts to reduce annual loading of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has notified a selection of farmers in the Bay Watershed that officials will be visiting farms soon to verify and review the operation’s manure management and agricultural erosion and sediment control plans.

It is important that we identify good practices and become aware of gaps in having these mandated plans,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “These visits will help us document compliance with state requirements, and direct resources where they are needed most.”

Initially, visits will be in high-priority areas of the watershed, to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment runoff as quickly as possible.

The value, McDonnell said, is as important nearby as it is further downstream. “Farmers’ plans control erosion and manage manure, which directly helps improve local water quality,” he said.

Approximately 2,000 of the 33,000 Pennsylvania farmers in the bay watershed were selected at random for notification by letter this week.

The letter notes that DEP is responsible for ensuring that the nutrient and sediment loads are reduced enough to meet federally mandated allocations by 2025, and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the urban stormwater and agricultural sectors are not making sufficient progress toward achieving these allocations.

The visits will allow DEP and Conservation District staff to ensure compliance with basic requirements to have and implement written plans to:

  • Properly handle, store and land-apply animal manure and agricultural process wastewater on the farm consistent with the nutrient needs of growing crops (commonly referred to as a manure management plan, [MMP]); and
  • Properly manage risks of erosion and runoff from agricultural plowing or tilling operations and animal heavy use areas (commonly referred to as an agricultural erosion and sediment control plan, or Ag E&S Plan).

For more DEP information on Chesapeake Bay-related efforts, visit their Chesapeake Bay webpage.

Note #1: Snyder County Conservation District Board of Directors voted to assist with these visits for the current 2016-2017 PA fiscal year. Not all conservation districts have agreed to participate with these compliance visits.

Note #2: Much of this information was supplied by Brenda J. Shambaugh, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD).

Members of the Snyder County Farm Bureau asked the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) in late spring 2016 to write an article in its newsletter updating their members regarding the visited mentioned above. A copy of this article may be viewed from our website.

After reading the SCCD "Reboot" article, if you still have questions, please contact District Manager Craig Bingman at 570-837-3000, x114.

The take home message to the agricultural community: Work on making sure you have your plans, follow those plans, and keep records. Check out our Agricultural Nutrient Management and Agricultural Erosion Prevention web pages for more information.

Above: A map of US states within the Chesapeake Bay watershed (white zone within green boundary).

 SCCD Updates

 

Several aquatic ecology events were held in the area in July and August 2016 in which the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) and faculty and students from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, coordinated and facilitated with other organizations. One event was held in New Berlin while the remaining ones were held in the Selinsgrove area. 

At all events, both adults and children collected and learned about the water quality, insects, crayfish, clams, and fish that inhabit our streams and rivers; and how the surrounding land use affects the local aquatic ecology.

Click here for a wrap-up of the events and photos. For more information about watershed protection and other events we offer and what we have done in the past, go explore our many web pages.

You may have heard about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, also known as CREP for several years.  You may have also heard about an increased push to install stream buffers.

However, do you really know the facts about this conservation program offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)?  Do you know how stream buffers help local water quality and the Chesapeake Bay, as well as wildlife and potentially livestock health?

A Stream Buffer & CREP Field Day event was held on July 28, 2016, in which thirty-five (35) visiting and host farmers, landowners, a legislative aide, state government officials, interested persons and conservation staff members participated and have the above questions answered. Three farm sites were visited during the tour portion of the event.

Representatives from Pheasants Forever, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), PA DCNR-Bureau of Forestry, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) relayed information about buffers, weeds, grass plantings and CREP procedures. Also, excluding livestock from marginally productive areas around streams can improve herd health without hurting the producer’s bottom line. Participants who install CREP stream buffers can receive payments from USDA.

For more information about this event, please check out this write-up. Contact your local FSA office for program details. In Snyder and Union Counties, contact the FSA office is located at 405 West Market Street, Middleburg, PA, 17842. The phone number is 570-837-0007, x2. You can also go to the PA CREP website (www.creppa.org) maintained by the PA Association of Conservation Districts, Inc., (PACD).

Note: CREP pays farmers and other landowners to conserve their land and prevent pollution in our local streams, lakes and rivers. Over 12,500 landowners in Pennsylvania have participated in CREP since the program began in 2000.

In late April 2016, the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held an agricultural BMP Tour in conjunction with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and financial assistance from others. One of the end products of this tour was the “Snyder County Agricultural BMP Guide” (AG BMP Guide). This guide pictures of BMPs installed within the county.

You may request a paper copy of the AG BMP Guide or download it off this website. Questions about the tour or AG BMP Guide can be forwarded to Barry Spangler, SCCD Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118.

You may have heard some information about PA Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Chesapeake Bay "Reboot" due to US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) disappointment about PA's efforts in meeting the state's reducing pollution goals for the Chesapeake Bay.

One "Reboot" item DEP is proposing may affect conservation districts in PA in which they are being asking to conduct compliance inspections on farms

Members of the Snyder County Farm Bureau asked the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) to write an article in its newsletter updating their members regarding this matter. A copy of this article may be viewed from our website.

After reading our "Reboot" article, if you still have questions, please contact SCCD District Manager Craig Bingman at 570-837-3000, x114.

The take home message to the agricultural community: Work on making sure you have your plans, follow those plans, and keep records. Check out our Agricultural Nutrient Management and Agricultural Erosion Prevention web pages for more information.

Above: A map of US states within the Chesapeake Bay watershed (white zone within green boundary).

The Conservation District (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, Watershed Specialist, at 570-837-3000, x112, or Barry Spangler, Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118. (Copy of recent news release)

Note: 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.

The PA State Conservation Commission, along with the PA Department of Revenue, are accepting applications for the REAP credit program that awards farmers who have installed or will install BMPs, hire people to write plans, purchase no-till planting equipment, etc.

Go to our Agricultural Conservation Assistance web page for details.

PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has produced a Manure Management Plan (MMP) workbook required for farmers to complete who produce, handle or spread manure and are not required to have a nutrient management plan such as concentrated animal operations (CAOs) and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Individuals who even raise one steer, one goat, one sheep, etc., are required to have a MMP.

Questions about environmental regulations or manure management planning can be forwarded to Barry Spangler, Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) Agricultural Conservation Technician, 570-837-3000, x118. You can also go to our Agricultural Erosion Prevention, Agricultural Nutrient Management and Agricultural Conservation Assistance web pages for more information.

The SCCD encourages any person who raises livestock and/or crops (no matter the number or type) to contact us. We will schedule to meet with you to explain what is required. It is better to meet with us now instead of meeting someone else later (e.g.: DEP, US Environmental Protection Agency) during a random inspection or responding to a complaint.

Recent Happenings: Go to "Conservation News" section of this web page for additional details.
News Updates:

Effective or Happening Now:

Upcoming Events:
  • None scheduled at this time.

 

 General Information

A conservation district is a subdivision of state government that follows county lines as boundaries. Funding for the conservation district's programs is obtained from the Snyder County Commissioners, PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other agencies. The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) was founded in 1956.

A partial list of what we are involved with includes:
The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) is governed by a seven member board of volunteer directors. The Board of Directors meet monthly to plan and direct local conservation issues. To accomplish their goals and objectives, the board relies on their staff, paid employs of the Conservation District, and cooperating agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), PA State Conservation Commission (SCC) PA Game Commission, PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Bureau of Forestry, Farm Service Agency, Penn State Cooperative Extension, among others. 
 

 Contact Information

 
Snyder County Conservation District
sccd@ptd.net
 
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.
 

 Our Sign Says ...

 
 
 
A message brought to you by Renee Swineford, SCCD Administrative Assistant
 

 SCCD Conservation News

 A Message for Farmers, Livestock & Equine Onwers

 

Farmers, Livestock & Horse Owners ...

Do You Have the Following?



Nutrient or Manure Management Plan?
Ag. E&S or Conservation Plan?

 

If yes, are they up to date? If not, meet with the Snyder County Conservation District as soon as possible. We will explain what is required of you and point you to the right direction. PA DEP has been conducting inspections throughout Snyder County to determine if farmers are following the new regulations.

 

Contact us and go to our Agricultural Nutrient Management and Agricultural Erosion Prevention web pages for more details.

 

 

 Others in the SCCD Building

 

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) currently has two tenants in our office building. They are:

Snyder County 4-H, with Kathy Weller as Coordinator.

On most Wednesdays, a staff person from PA Rep. Fred Keller's office will be available to answer questions in our lower level conference room from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

We welcome our newest tenant, Edwards Moving & Rigging.

 

 SCCD Publications & Links

 General Downloads

 Cooperating Agencies: External Links

 Other Groups & Contacts: (External Links)