Nutrient Management

Lehigh County Conservation District has been delegated by Pennsylvania’s State Conservation Commission to administer the Act 38 Nutrient Management Program in Lehigh County.  The Nutrient Management Program regulates the collection, storage, and application of farms with an animal density above 2 AEUs per acre.  In order to be regulated at this density, the farm must have at least 8 AEUs total.  AEUs are animal equivalent units, often described as 1,000 lbs of live weight.

Farms that have this density on their operation are classified as Concentrated Animal Operations, or CAOs.  Under state law, CAOs must develop a nutrient management plan.  That plan is then reviewed by the Nutrient Management Specialist at LCCD.  After review, the plan is sent to the LCCD Board of Directors for final approval. Plans are written for three years, and yearly inspections are done on site to verify compliance with the plan.

Operations that have a nutrient management plan are not only in compliance with the law, but also enjoy limited liability protection from the state.  Farms that are not classified as a CAO may develop a nutrient management plan in order to obtain limited liability protection.  Those operations are called Voluntary Animal Operations, or VAOs.

If you need more information about Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Management Program, please feel free to contact the Agricultural Resource Conservationist at 610-391-9583 extension 26 or click here to go Pennsylvania's Nutrient Management website.