The Charles SCD provides technical assistance to landowners and farmers interested in soil conservation and agricultural conservation practices. Some of the technical assistance that we may provide include: conservation planning, site evaluation for best management practices, survey and design work for agricultural practices.
There are a number of conservation programs available. We may be able to assist you in determining if your land is suitable/ eligible and help you through the application and program delivery process.
If you are interested in obtaining technical assistance, please contact our office.
Conservation plans are a valuable tool for resource management. The purpose of a Soil Conservation and Water Quality plan is to assist farmers with making the best possible use of their soil and water resources, while protecting and conserving those resources for the future. Conservation plans are designed primarily to correct soil erosion, animal waste, and/or nutrient runoff problems. However, the plans can also be developed to make better use of a resource, increase production, improve wildlife habitat, increase recreational opportunities, or save energy and labor.
The conservation plan folder contains:
1) an aerial, photo-based map or sketch
with the needed conservation practices outlined on it;
2) a written record of the landowner’s decisions and a schedule for implementation, and;
3) a map showing the type and location of soils on the farm. Other useful information, such as soil loss, maintenance, seeding, tillage, fertilization, and pesticide application may be included.
Conservation plans are not required, unless you are participating in government programs, or you have been cited for a water quality violation, or you wish to sell your development rights to the State under the Farmland Preservation program. The soil and water conservation program in Maryland is voluntary.
If you are interested in developing a conservation plan for your farm, please contact the District and make an appointment with our staff to meet with you on your farm to identify soil erosion and water quality issues. To customize your plan, our staff needs to know your farming operation, your cropping needs and goals, and your livestock program. Additional details about soils and slopes on your farm, and the location of streams, ponds, and other water sources will be discussed with you.
The Water Quality Improvement Act of 1998 required all farmers grossing $2,500 a year of more, or livestock producers with 8,000 pounds or more of live animal weight, to have a nutrient management plan that addresses both nitrogen and phosphorus inputs. The requirement applies to all agricultural land used to produce plants, food, feed, fiber, animals or other agricultural products. If you fall into this category you are required to keep your nutrient management plan current and submit a nutrient management annual implementation report to Maryland Department of Agriculture.