With almost 60% of the township land area devoted to agriculture, the farming community plays a significant role in township efforts to improve local water quality. In Pennsylvania all farms are required to have a Conservation Plan and Manure Management Plan or Nutrient Management Plan.
Conservation Planning helps farmers maintain and improve the natural resources that support productive and profitable agricultural operations. The benefits of developing a Conservation Plan include the following items:
• Identifies immediate or potential resource problems that can hurt production.
• Helps to comply with environmental regulations.
• Adapts to your changing operational goals.
• Establishes a reasonable schedule to apply needed conservation practices.
• Facilitates the protection, conservation, and enhancement of existing natural resources.
• Provides long term management improvements to ensure continued production for future generations.
In November 2012, West Lampeter Township contracted Lancaster Farmland Trust to complete 93 farm visits to conduct education, outreach, and assessment of BMPs in the Pequea and Mill Creek watersheds. As a result of this assessment, the township learned that only half of township farms had a Conservation Plan. To improve these numbers, the Township contracted with Team AG to provide Conservation and Manure Management plans for 16 farms.
West Lampeter Township will continue working with the agriculture community to ensure long-term economic productivity, regulatory compliance, and natural resources protection.