The Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Act regulates high density animal operations and requires them to develop and implement approved Nutrient Management Plans. Concentrated Animal Operations or CAOs are defined as agricultural operations where animal density of all livestock on farm exceeds 2,000 lbs of animal weight per acre. An operation having less than 8,000 lbs of animal weight is not classified a CAO, regardless of the animal density on the operation.
The primary purpose of the Nutrient Management Act is to provide the proper utilization and management of manure nutrients on farms to prevent the pollution of surface water and groundwater. Nutrient Management Plans are developed by a certified planner and developed to ensure manure and other nutrient sources are applied at a balanced rate based on crop needs. Nutrient Management Plans also identify potential sources of surface and groundwater pollution and establishes a schedule to implement Best Management Practices to address concerns through either physical or operational changes on a farm.
Federally regulated Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs are required through the permitting process to develop a Nutrient Management Plan for their operation as well. CAOs and CAFOs must submit their Nutrient Management Plan to the Adams County Conservation District for review and approval. Farms not required to have a Nutrient Management Plan may voluntarily submit a plan for approval. Not only can an approved Nutrient Management Plan improve farm economy, it can also provide some mitigating leverage in a related civil suit, to the degree that the plan is implemented.
For assistance with developing either a Nutrient Management or Manure Management plan, please contact Vy Trinh