The Nutrient Management Program was initiated in Berks County in May of 1997. Agreements were signed with the State Conservation Commission for the purpose of reviewing and approving Nutrient Management Plans written for farms in Berks County as prescribed by Act 6, Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Management Law. As of October 1, 2006, a NEW Nutrient Management Law, Act 38, became effective and require all Concentrated Animal Operations (CAO’s-farms with more than two animal equivalent units of livestock per acre available for manure application) to develop and implement a plan for the safe utilization of the manure. Farms with less than the mandated animal populations are encouraged to voluntarily develop a plan. Berks County Conservation District has a list of available Nutrient Management Specialists that serve the county. View the list by clicking this link: NMP Specialists (9-12-12).
DEP regulations require that all manure storage structures (liquid or semi-liquid) built in PA must be designed and the construction certified to meet NRCS standards by a Professional Engineer. The District can assist in obtaining Engineering assistance for such construction. The District maintains a supply of resource materials in the office and provides assistance to farmers regarding compliance, plan development, and funding sources for Best Management Practices (BMP) installation as needed.
Attention: New Manure Application Setbacks are in effect for CAFOs, CAOs, and ALL importers of manure from CAOs and CAFOs. Listed below are the setbacks.
- Year-round 100 foot setback from streams, lakes, ponds and open sinkholes
- Unless there is at least a 35 foot permanent vegetated buffer next to the stream, etc., in which case manure may not be applied within 35 feet of the stream, lake, pond or sinkhole
- Year-round 100 foot setback from active drinking water sources (wells, springs)
For more information and questions regarding the Berks County Conservation District’s Nutrient Management Program please contact the Berks County Conservation District at 610-372-4657.