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Agricultural Assistance

Agricultural Assistance

Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Adams County. The Adams County Conservation District provides technical assistance through a variety of programs to help farmers implement best management practices to help improve water quality.

Planning assistance is available to identify resource concerns and develop a plan of action to address those concerns. Assistance is also available for proposed projects that implement planned Best Management Practices from an Agricultural Erosion and Sedimentation Plan, Conservation Plan, Nutrient Management Plan, or a Manure Management Plan that has been developed for an agricultural operation.


Adams County Conservation District
670 Old Harrisburg Rd
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-334-0636

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM



Agricultural compliance

All agricultural landowners and operators in Pennsylvania are required by law to have at minimum Ag Erosion and Sediment Control plans and/or Manure Management Plans. 

These plans need to be current and accurate and be implemented for you to be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law. Manure Management Plans don’t need to be submitted and approved, but a MMP needs to be kept on site.

More information is provided through the links below: 



Follow this flow chart to see what type of plan is needed. 
A written Ag E&S Plan is required for agricultural plowing and tilling activities(including no-till practices) and Animal Heavy Use Areas (AHUA-areas that do not maintain vegetation due to animal use/traffic) that each disturb land totaling 5,000 square feet or more. 

The plan documents the Best Management Practices (BMPs) used to address current and potential cropland soil loss due to erosion i.e. tillage used; crop rotation; grassed waterways; diversions; terraces, etc.   

Every farm in Pennsylvania that land applies manure or agricultural process wastewater (generated on the farm or received from an importer), regardless of size, is required to have and implement a written MMP.

This includes manure or agricultural process wastewater application by various types of equipment and/or direct application of manure by animals on pastures and in Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs-areas that do not maintain vegetation due to heavy animal use/traffic).  This regulation and requirements includes “backyard operations” with a small amount of land and animals, i.e. a few chickens in a residential yard.  

Concentrated animal operations (CAOs) are required to develop, implement, and maintain a nutrient management plan.

Concentrated animal operations are defined as agricultural operations where the animal density of all livestock on the farm exceeds 2,000 lbs. of animal(s) per acre on an annualized basis. This definition includes all livestock, including nonproduction animals such as horses used for recreation and transportation. An operation with fewer than 8,000 lbs. of animals is not considered to be a CAO, regardless of the animal density.

The fact sheet about PA's Nutrient Management Act from Penn State Extension provides additional information, definitions, and an animal density example calculation of an agricultural operation to determine if it is a CAO.