Farm Stewardship Program with Berks County Conservation District

Submitted by Berks County Conservation District

Before (left) and after pictures of installed BMPs to address resource concerns on a farm operation in the Maiden Creek Watershed. Photos submitted by Berks County Conservation District.

Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) partnered with Stroud Water Research Center in January 2015 to administer their Farm Stewardship Program in Berks County. This program is designed to entice farmers to install at least a 35’ wide Forested Riparian Buffer on all streams on their operation. In turn they receive vouchers for $4,000 per acre of installed Forested Riparian Buffer to help cover the cost of approved Best Management Practices (BMPs) on their operation.

Between 2015 and 2018, BCCD enrolled 24 sites in the Farm Stewardship program, of which 22 were farming operations. In three years of the Farm Stewardship Program in Berks County, a total of 105 acres of Forested Riparian Buffers were installed. resulting in over 57,000 feet of streambank protection covering over 33,000 feet of stream, and planting over 8,000 trees and shrubs along streams. Through these cooperators, BCCD had 263 BMPs installed including 44 Plans (Conservation Plans, Manure Management Plans, Nutrient Management Plans), 62 Forested-Riparian-Buffer-related BMPs, and an additional 157 BMPs on farm operations.

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