MANURE & NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT
Every farm in Pennsylvania that land applies manure or agricultural process waste water (generated on the farm or received from an importer), regardless of size, is required to have and implement a written Manure Management Plan. This includes manure and agricultural process waste water application by various types of equipment and/or direct application of manure by animals on pastures and in Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs). In other words, farms that do not mechanically apply manure but which do have pastures or barnyards still need a manure management plan.
"There is no distinction between the 1 horse pleasure farmette and the 50 cow dairy herd, on the need for a written manure management plan."
A copy of Pennsylvania's Manure Management Manual can be found on Pennsylvania's Nutrient Management Website along with other important Nutrient Management information:
This flow chart (click to download) will help you determine if you are regulated further.
Nutrient Management (Act 38)
Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Management Act (2005) requires farms with high animal densities called Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs) to develop and implement an Act 38 Nutrient Management Plan. Act 38 plans balance manure application rates to match crop needs, evaluates manure storage, phosphorus runoff potential, animal concentration areas (ACAs), and accelerated erosion. Farms under the regulated animal density are still encouraged to get a nutrient management plan, and in fact, about 90% of Pennsylvania's Act 38 plans are volunteers. By analyzing storage and usage of on-farm nutrients, Act 38 participants can take measures to improve water and soil quality as well as improve crop production, decrease fertilizer costs, and secure some liability protection against civil penalties and actions.
PA Nutrient Management Website is a comprehensive resource for PA’s Nutrient Management Act, educational materials, and technical guidance.