The Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District offers numerous services to agricultural operations, both large and small. We offer conservation and nutrient management planning, financial assistance (Cost Share and Tax Credit) for conservation practices, seminars on natural resource and agricultural topics.
Rural Crescent Forum: Looking to the Future
Join the Prince William Conservation Alliance on March 6 at 7:30pm when a panel of local experts will discuss the future of the Rural Crescent at Bull Run UU Church, 9250 Main Street, Manassas.
For agenda, background and detailed information visit PWCA
, or call 703.499.4954.
In 1998 the Prince William County Board of Supervisors adopted a Comprehensive Plan that, for the first time, formally established an Urban Growth Boundary. The intent was to strengthen the County's capacity to control urban sprawl by defining an area that was available for higher density development and a protected rural area, which quickly became known as the Rural Crescent.
In May 2012, PWC Supervisors initiated a study to determine the "effectiveness" of the County's protected rural area and identify additional rural preservation strategies. The upcoming decisions about the future of the Rural Crescent will influence the location of infrastructure investments from Haymarket to Quantico.
Forum for Rural Innovation: Farmers' and Communities Innovative Plan for Agriculture's Future
March 14, 8:15am to 3:45pm, Best Western Motor Inn & Conference Center, Millwood Avenue, Winchester, VA.
This forum showcases new and exciting projects and programs that enhance farm or rural business profitability. The models presented focus on conserving farmland and natural resources, and developing new approaches to rural prosperity in upscale areas where land commands premium prices. The presentations are practical examples of successful innovative operations that could be adapted to any farm. The program will feature some of the most progressive and recognized farms, oganizations and research in the United States. For full information and registration
or call Cassie Walls, Loudoun County Economic Development, 703.777.0426.
Woodland Certification for Landowners
Join Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Department of Forestry for an evening program (dinner included) designed for woodland owners interested in learning more about getting a certified stamp of approval for their forest management activities. Topics include: Concepts of sustainable woodland management, What woodland certification is, Pros and cons of certification, Certification programs in Virginia, How to start the process of certification, Results from a recent landowner survey regarding woodland certification. Ample time will be available for discussion and questions. A full dinner will be provided, please note special dietary needs with your registration. April 15, 4:30-7:30pm at Wetland Studies & Solutions, 5300 Wellington Branch Road, Suite 100, Gainesville VA 20155. More information
, register and pay $20 on-line at forestupdate
or mail registration form
with $20 to Virginia Tech Treasurer, c/o Jennifer Gagnon, 228 Cheatham Hall (0324), 310 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Funding, for up to 100% of cost, for stream exclusion projects is available to farmers who operate grazing farms
that border any live stream, wetland, or a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Resource Protection Area
Why stream exclusion?
Increased productivity, profitability, weight gain, fewer outbreaks of disease, greater forage production, better pasture management and better pasture quality. And, keeping livestock out of local waters is critical to reducing bacteria levels and excess nitrogen that pollute many of Virginia's rivers and streams. That's why!
Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program* SL-6, for stream exclusion
has been elevated to a high-priority practice for a limited time. We are now able to provide up to 100% funding to cover the cost of fencing, watering systems, and stream crossings needed to facilitate the exclusion of livestock to streams, wetlands, and other surface waters. If you have not fenced your livestock from waterways on your property you should seriously consider signing up for this exceptional program. With more water quality regulations coming each year, it is very likely that livestock surface water exclusion will become mandatory in the future. The 100% funding is limited to sign up from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015.
We have no information regarding funding after that period. By signing up before June 30, 2015 you are guaranteed that your project will be funded 100% when the funding becomes available from DCR
. SL-6 BMP specifications here
for your review. For more information, questions or to apply contact us at email@example.com
or call us at 571.379.7514.
*The Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program is managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Funding available for producers interested in improving the health and productivity of their land!
NRCS offers technical and financial assistance to address resource concerns on crop and grazing lands, protect wildlife habitat, and keep land in agricultural production. Farmers may sign up for conservation programs throughout the year, but funding selections are made at specific times for the following programs:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
(EQIP) is the most robust offering with many Virginia producers, featuring soil health practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, nutrient management, and rotational grazing as well as payment options for farmers to develop plans to better manage their resources. These conservation activity plans can help producers better manage animal waste, grazing lands, fish and wildlife habitat, pollinator habitat, and energy consumption. Producers who grow nursery stock, vegetables and speciality crops may be interested in developing an irrigation water management plan to be eligible for our new micro-irrigation practices.
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program
(WHIP) NRCS can provide funding to create upland wildlife and aquatic habitats along with helping producers maintain or improve existing habitat. This assistance also includes special incentives focused on restoring Longleaf pine forests and reversing the decline of the threatened Golden-Winged Warbler.
For more information on Farm Bill programs, to develop a program, identify recommended practes and pursue funding through one of many programs available contact Roger Flint, NRCS District Conservationist for Prince William County at 540.347.3120 ext. 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A message from Jay Yankey, District Manager
We encourage all agriculturally zoned property owners with crop or livestock to consider the benefits of receiving a Water Quality Conservation Plan.
A conservation plan can help direct landowners in making good management decisions that can increase animal health, profitability, and the aesthetics of their property, while protecting natural resources. The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and County Code requires that all agricultural lands in Prince William County have a conservation plan. The Conservation District is tasked to write these plans, free of charge. Carrie Brausieck, Nicole Ethier and I will be actively engaging farmers and landowners who do not have conservation plans to offer our plan writing services. For farms that already have a conservation plan we will revise/update your plan if it is over three years old, or if you have significantly changed your operation. We would be happy to schedule a visit with you at your convenience and we look forward to working with you in the coming months.
You can receive a FREE conservation plan written explicitly for your property which will cover grass/crop production, livestock stocking rate, nutrient management, pest management and other topics. Call us for an appointment 571.379.7514.
Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA)
State agencies are conducting farm asessments to avoid issuing VPA permits. In an effort to meet new federal requirements and keep smaller farmers from having to obtain VPA permits, the Virginia Departments of Environmental Quality and Agriculture have teamed up to conduct Virginia's Small Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) Evaluation and Assessment Strategy. This program has been designed to assess the more than 2,000 farms in Virginia that meet the definition of an "animal feeding operation" defined as an operation where animals (other than aquatic animals) are stabled or confined, and fed or maintained, for 45 days or more in any 12 month period, and crops, vegetations, forage growth or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the facility.
Producers who have been identified by various means who do not currently have a VPA permit, but are believed to possibly meet the AFO criteria are being notified via letter about participating in this process. The first step in the assessment process is a survey to be filled out by the farmer. From this survey, if it is determined that the operation meets the criteria of an AFO, the farmer will be asked to allow an inspection to be conducted by DEQ or VDACS staff. If water quality concerns are identified the producer will be directed to available existing voluntary programs to address the concern. The entire program is voluntary. However, DEQ has indicated that if the program is not successful in evaluating and addressing water quality issues identified on these operations the Federal Government may require all livestock feeding operations, regardless of size, to obtain a VPA permit. More information is available on this link.
Johnsongrass is an invasive and aggressive plant, typically found in hay and crop fields. It can be toxic to cattle, can affect the productivity of farmland and choke out desirable crops. Learn All you Need to Know About Johnsongrass
: what it looks like, how did you get it, when/how does it grow,what is the best way of controlling it and chemical control.
Power Outage... be prepared for electrical outages on your farm.
Don't get caught unprepared for an extended power outage. This publication will steer you in the right direction: Farm Generator
, a Virginia Cooperative Extension publication.
The Benefits of Soil Sampling
Protect Water Quality from Agricultural Run-off
Agriculture in Prince William County and the Chesapeake Bay Act
Citizen's Action Directory for Water Quality
On Farm Composting
, published by Virginia Tech
Conservation Program and Financial Incentives
Use of Fill Dirt in Agricultural Operations
Selecting Summer Annual Grasses
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual
Private Landowner Network
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Virginia Tech: Virginia Farm Business Management Livestock Budgets
USDA first edition of the National Organic Program (NOP
designed for those who own, manage, or certify organic operations. The handbook provides guidance about the NOP standards and instructions that outline best program practices and is intended to serve as a resource for the organic indiustry that will help participants comply with federal regulations.
Printed copies are availalbe through Standards Division, National Organic Program, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2646-8 Ag Stop 0268, Washington DC 20250-0268 (202) 720-3252. Copies can be downloaded from the Internet
USDA Ag Census for Prince William County
Soil Nutrient Testing for Crop Production
Nutrient Management Planning
Fertilizing with Manure
Stockpiling for Winter Grazing in Drought Years: A Leap of Faith
For information about the safe and appropriate use of pesticides VCE Pest Management Guide
What are the requirements for a farm pond in Prince William County?
- NOT for stormwater management purposes
- Property zoned A-1
- Minimum number of acres of cropland shall not be less than 2 acres
- Stocking rate of livestock cannot exceed densities set in current County zoning ordinances
What steps do you take to install a farm pond in Prince William County?
Contact Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District for all the help you need to get you started. (See side bar for contact information.)
PWC Farm Pond Construction Guidelines
Pond Planning, Design, Construction
Pond Information Links:
Stocking Sportfish in Virginia Ponds: Methods and Commercial Supply Sources
Control Methods for Aquatic Plants in Ponds and Lakes
Pond Construction: Some Practical Considerations
Clearing Muddy Pond Waters
Triploid Grass Carp
We are your go-to folks for federal and state program information and contacts.
Support for Budding "Grass-Farmers" Cost Saving Opportunities through Services
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance
Virginia Conservation Lands Database
Conservation Programs NRCS
Conservation of Private Grazing Land
Conservation Reserve Program
Conservation Reservre Enhancement Program
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative
Conservation Technical Assistance
Environmental Quality Incentive Programs
Farm and Ranchland Protection Program
Virginia Organic Initiatives
Grassland Reserve Program
Resource Conservation and Development
State Technical Committees
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program
Conservation Stewardship Program
Wetland Reserve Program
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
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