Act 38 Nutrient Management Program

In May of 1993, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted the Nutrient Management Act, Act 6 of 1993, to establish criteria for nutrient management planning and implementation schedules for the application of nutrient management on certain agricultural operations that generate or utilize animal manure.

As of October 1, 1997, the nutrient management program's main goal was to minimize surface and groundwater nutrient loads from agricultural operations and to increase farm profitability through proper nutrient management. As of May 2005, all nutrient management plans must contain a phosphorus component, now required under Act 38.

The Juniata County Conservation District, under a delegation agreement with the State Conservation Commission, administers the Act 38 program in Juniata County. The Act required that any animal operations that were considered a Concentrated Animal Operation (CAO) to develop a nutrient management plan (NMP) that helps them to manage their manure to meet the needs of their crops and to protect water sources from nutrient overload. A CAO is defined as an agricultural operation where the animal density is greater than 2 animal equivalent units (AEU's) per acre of land available/suitable for manure application, on an annual basis. Land that is available/suitable is hayland, cropland or pastureland (owned or rented). Farmstead and forestland cannot be included as land available/suitable for manure application.

Utilizing the Agronomy Fact Sheet #54 can assist an operator in determining weather or not they are a CAO, as well as contacting any of the District's Resource Conservation Technicians.

Penn State Agronomy Fact Sheet #40 - NM Legislation in PA: A Summary of New Regulations (2006) (pdf)
Penn State Agronomy Fact Sheet #54 - PA's Nutrient Management Act (Act 38): Who's Affected? (pdf)
Penn State Agronomy Fact Sheet #55 - Estimating Manure Application Rates (pdf)
Penn State Agronomy Fact Sheet #60 - Nutrient Management Planning: An Overview (pdf)