From a single horse in a backyard to large boarding and training facilities, Pennsylvania equine operations are a growing part of the agricultural industry. Horses are livestock; they generate manure and often graze on pasture. Horse operations must comply with the same regulations for soil erosion, sedimentation control, and manure management that all other agricultural operations need to comply with.
The PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program has a special interest in horses, because equine owners tend to be a sector of agriculture not familiar with Conservation Districts and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and therefore may not realize:
- there is technical assistance for soil and water runoff and manure concerns available from Districts and NRCS
- there is education and technical assistance available for grazing & pasture management, composting manure, and managing Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs)
- there might be cost share assistance for equine operations for the installation of some Best Management Practices (BMPs)
- a written Manure Management Plan is required for all equine operations
- a written Agricultural Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) plan is required on equine operations that have pasture or Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs)
Technical assistance is available by contacting your County Conservation District, http://pacd.org/your-district/find-your-district/ or your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/pa/contact/local/