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Nutrient Management Program (Act38)

About the Program

Act 38 Nutrient Management

The Nutrient Management Program was passed in October of 1997 and took effect in December of 1997. It requires that all Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs) or operations that have 2,000 pounds of livestock, poultry, equine or 2 Animal Equivalent Units (AEUs) per acre available for manure to develop and submit a nutrient management plan to the County Conservation District.  Acres available for manure would include crop fields, hay fields and pastures and all rented acres that are contiguous with the operations where manure could be spread. 

 A nutrient management plan indicates how much manure is produced on an operation and what applications rates will be used to grow a certain yield of crop in an agronomically safe manner.  It includes field by field analysis of phosphorus levels and requires 100-150 foot setback when spreading manure around streams, ponds and other water sources including wells. A nutrient management plan will address resource concerns of sources of nutrient and sediment pollution such as manure storage and stacking areas and animal concentration areas like feedlots, exercise lots and barnyards that are void of vegetation where nutrient runoff could occur.  Stormwater entering these areas will also be evaluated as part of the nutrient planning process.

Often times CAOs cannot use all the manure they produce on the operation and are required to export manure to neighboring farms or contract with manure brokers to dispose of excess manure produced.  This would require written agreements and nutrient balance sheets for all importing operations.   

Nutrient Management Plans are developed by certified planners and must be approved by the local County Conservation District.  The Conservation Districts review the plan and when it meets all the necessary requirements recommend the plan to approval to their board.  The Conservation District has 90 days to act on a nutrient management plan once it is submitted.  In Montour County, Sean Levan and Todd Deroba are certified under the Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Program and Elizaibeth Morgan is working towards her certification as well.  If you have any questions concerning the Act 38 Program or think your operation might fall under these requirements please give us a call.  

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