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Farmers Protecting Water Quality

A survey of nearly 7,000 farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed finds that many have voluntarily implemented water-quality best management practices.

The survey, overseen by Matt Royer, director of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, stemmed from agricultural leaders' desire to document measures that Pennsylvania farmers have taken on their own, without federal or state funding, to reduce nitrogen and sediment levels in local streams, rivers, and lakes.

Findings include:

  • 475,800 acres of nutrient/manure management
  • 2,106 barnyard runoff-control systems
  • 55,073 acres of erosion control plans
  • 228,264 acres covered by conservation plans
  • More than 1.3 million linear feet of streambank fencing
  • 1,757 acres of grass riparian buffers
  • 5,808 acres of forested riparian buffers