Agriculture is Pennyslvania’s second largest industry, but it is also a major contributor to water quality problems. The Commonwealth is the number one source of nitrogen pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, and of that, agriculture contributes more than 60 percent. Pennsylvania is also the second largest source of sediment and phosphorous pollution to the Bay. Preserving this crucial part of the economy while also protecting our waterways and other natural resources can be a delicate balancing act, but more and more farmers are taking up the challenge and achieving success.
Take the Miller family: they have been farming in Adams County for more than 50 years. While a far cry from a factory farm, the Millers juggle some 38,000 turkeys, 150 cattle, and more than 1,000 acres of land dedicated to wheat, corn, soybeans, and hay. Their operation is considered a Concentrated Animal feeding Operation (CAFO) because of their turkey contracts, and as a result, is subject to NPDES permit requirements under the federal Clean Water Act. When it comes to protecting water quality, through stormwater runoff management, they have embraced their responsibility and taken a pro-active approach.
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