Program offers environmental benefits for farmers

Agriculture – from economy to culture and heritage – is an integral part of Pennsylvania.

It also plays an important role in conservation and the environment.

The Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP) is intended to “help with farm planning and conservation practice implementation to address resource concerns on your farm,” according to a release from the Warren County Conservation District (WCCD).

It is part of the Clean Streams Fund legislation and is funded with $154 million.

The statewide program is delivered through county conservation districts.

“Agriculture… serves, when done correctly, as a natural filter, soaking up rainfall and runoff,” according to WCCD District Technician Hunter McNutt. “However, farmers sometimes need assistance to implement critical conservation practices to protect the Commonwealth’s waters.”

WCCD is accepting application for ACAP.

“Staff can provide both technical and financial assistance for conservation practice planning and implementation,” McNutt said. “Your objectives for the farm are always central to the planning process.”

Benefits of the program, according to the Conservation District, include:

¯ “Custom Solutions: County Conservation Districts, Penn State Extension, and others will help you with a plan tailored to your operation and your objectives;

¯ More Productive Soil: Adopting conservation practices fosters healthy soil that will help sustain plants and animals, build organic matter, control diseases, and improve soil structure;

¯ Reduced Costs: No-till cultivation, cover crops, and other practices that improve soil health will strengthen nutrient cycling and natural pest resistance, reducing your need for costly fertilizers and pesticides;

¯ Cleaner Water: Healthy soils filter water in wet weather, retain moisture during drought, moderate soil temperature, and keep soils and nutrients from running off your land; and

¯ A Lasting Legacy: For many farmers, farming is more than a livelihood. It’s their culture, their heritage, and their legacy. Passing down a productive operation with healthy soils and clean water can be key to the success of future generations.”

“The result: healthy soils, clean water, thriving local economies,” according to the release.

Further information is available by calling the WCCD at (814) 726-1441.


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