University of Maryland Extension

Farmers: the First Environmentalists

Patricia Hoopes

Does the title ring true to you? Time to let people know! Farmers can showcase their environmental efforts in their Nutrient Management Plans.

There are several areas of the Nutrient Management Plan cover letter that are designed for farmers to do just that. The main area is under “Best Management Practices”. This gives the grower an opportunity to state if they have a Soil Conservation Plan and to list conservation efforts that are in place. Such efforts or projects might include putting gutters on buildings, animal waters, rotational grazing, stream crossings, fencing off streams, waterways, no till practices, conservation tillage, riparian buffers and others. Sometimes it is also good to list a project that is underway. Your Nutrient Management Advisor will be happy to include statements in your plan showcasing your efforts to conserve soil.

Many farmers have stated that they do not know if they have a Soil and Water Quality Plan or not. These plans are good for 10 years, and many times the original person requesting the plan has retired. It is good to review and update these plans from time to time. Soil Conservation will be glad to provide you with assistance in securing a plan for your farm or checking to see if one is in place. The Harford County Soil Conservation Office can be reached at 410-838-6181.


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