Posted: March 27, 2020

The deadline for farmers in Lancaster, York, Franklin and Adams counties to respond to a survey documenting conservation practices installed on their farms has been extended by a month, to May 1, due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farmers in four Pennsylvania counties now have until May 1 to return a survey aimed at documenting on-farm conservation practices, such as riparian stream buffers.

Farmers in four Pennsylvania counties now have until May 1 to return a survey aimed at documenting on-farm conservation practices, such as riparian stream buffers.

The survey was mailed to farmers in these four counties in late February.

"Over the last 10 days, significant transitions of work environments to safer, work-from-home options has decreased the number of on-campus staff, making it impossible to mail individual extension notices to farmers," explained Matt Royer, director of the Agriculture and Environment Center in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and lead researcher for the survey.

"We know farmers also are experiencing changes and disruptions to normal business operations during this unprecedented time as they work to fulfill the ultimate in life-sustaining work — providing us all with an abundant and safe supply of food," he said. "While several farmers have already completed the survey, we certainly want to give those who haven't more time to fill out and return the survey."

The Penn State Survey Research Center is continuing its operations and is able to process returns and answer questions farmers may have. Once the survey is complete, responses will be analyzed by College of Agricultural Sciences researchers, and cumulative results will be provided to Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay Office to document the practices farmers have adopted to conserve soil and water and protect water quality.

Responses will be completely confidential and never will be associated with a farmer's name or location.

For more information about the survey or to complete it online, visit http://src.survey.psu.edu/farmbmp/. Questions about the survey can be directed to Matt Royer at mroyer@psu.edu.

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