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Allegany Soil Conservation District
11602 Bedford Road, NE • Cumberland, MD 21502 • (301) 777•1747, ext. 3
Fax: 301-777-7632



Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plans

            Soil conservation and water quality plans (SCWQPs) are comprehensive farm management plans that identify existing and potential pollution concerns for the entire farming operation.  Developed by agricultural planners working in the Allegany Soil Conservation District, SCWQPs often include dozens of farm-specific best management practices (BMPs) to be implemented by the farmer over several years to address a range of natural resource concerns.  Developed by our field professionals, SCWQPs can take several years to implement.  To ensure their effectiveness in protecting natural resources on working farms, SCWQPs are updated as farm operations and production objectives change.


Best Management Practices

            On the farm, best management practices are used in a variety of situations to  control soil erosion, manage nutrients and protect water quality.  A terrace system or grassed waterway may be installed to prevent soil from washing down a hillside.  Cover crops and vegetative buffers are often planted to prevent nutrient runoff from entering farm streams.  Other more complex BMPs such as livestock crossings, spring developments and animal waste storage structures provide water quality benefits for livestock. The Allegany Soil Conservation District can provide farmers with technical assistance to design and BMPs in much the same way that a contractor works with a homeowner to repair a leaking roof or insulate a house to make it more energy-efficient. We also supervise BMP installation or construction and develop maintenance plans to keep the practices in good working order.

The following is a list of possible BMPs available to Allegany County Farmers from the Allegany Soil Conservation District. Not all best management practices are identified here, so visit our office for the most recent list of practices.  


Conservation Choices for Maryland Farmers - Web Version 

Conservation Choices for Maryland Farmers (PDF Version)


One-Stop Source for Conservation Grants

            Each year the Allegany Soil Conservation District helps farmers secure thousands of dollars in financial assistance from a variety of state and federal programs to install protective best management practices on their farms.

The following is a listing of some of the financial resources available to Allegany County Farmers available over this web site. Please be sure you have a PDF reader installed on your computer to be able to view the files.

  • Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program (PDF)

  • Maryland’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) (PDF)

  • Low Interest Loans for Agricultural Conservation (LILAC) (PDF)

  • Maryland’s Manure Transport Program (PDF)

  • Maryland Income Tax Subfraction Modification for Conservation Equipment (PDF)

  • USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program (PDF or link)

  • USDA Wetlands Reserve Program (PDF or link)