Lebanon County’s leading industry is agriculture and it is home to some of the most productive farmland in the world. Conservation and protection of soil and water resources is critical to preserving the productivity of agriculture for future generations. A conservation plan is a guide for agricultural operators to protect valuable natural resources on their farm.
Since 1949, Lebanon County Conservation District has provided conservation planning assistance to agricultural operators at no cost.
What is a conservation plan?
A conservation plan is the starting point for managing the natural resources on your farm while maintaining productivity and meeting individual management goals. A conservation plan assesses the potential impacts to natural resources on each farm including soil, water, air, plants, and animals. It is a written record of the producer’s management decisions and conservation practices to be implemented and maintained on a farm.
Who needs a conservation plan?
According to the PA Clean Streams Law, a written Erosion and Sediment Control Plan is required for all agricultural practices that disturb 5,000 square feet or more of land. A conservation plan serves as an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for agricultural operators.
Additionally, a current conservation plan is required to participate in many state and federally funded programs such as REAP and Agricultural Land Preservation.
Benefits of a Conservation Plan:
- Protects soil and improves farm’s productivity
- Improves soil fertility and helps manage soil moisture
- Protects and improves water quality in your area
- May help attract desirable wildlife by creating nesting sites and winter cover
- Assists in protecting the productive value of your land for future generations
- Qualifies the producer for eligibility in USDA farm programs
- Helps the producer comply with environmental regulations
- Commonwealth regulations state that a complete and fully implemented conservation plan can protect farmers from penalties related to sediment pollution resulting from agricultural activities included in the plan
Examples of Conservation Practices:
- Conservation Tillage System (a Core 4 practice)
- Nutrient Management (a Core 4 practice)
- Integrated Pest Management – IPM (a Core 4 practice)
- Conservation Buffer (a Core 4 practice)
- Cover Crops
- Streambank Protection
- Contour Farming
- Grassed Waterways
- Terraces and Diversions
- Prescribed Grazing
717-277-5275 ext. 113
Agricultural Conservation Specialist
717-277-5275 ext. 112