The Agricultural Conservation Program connects the agricultural community with local technical and educational service providers.
ACCD provides resources and guidance to farmers in the following areas.
Understanding the principles and benefits of soil health has the potential to change perspectives and understanding of land stewardship. Farmers can do more than just maintain their land. They can achieve higher levels of productivity with less reliance on outside inputs.
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), soil health can change the land.
Reduced tillage practices minimize soil disturbance and allow crop residue to remain on the ground instead of being thrown away or incorporated into the soil. These practices are recommended to reduce soil erosion, increase soil productivity and reduce production costs.
Cover crops have the potential to provide multiple benefits in a cropping system such as: preventing erosion, improving soil conditions, supplying nutrients, suppressing weeds, improving the availability of water and breaking pest cycles.
Importantly, the species of cover crop selected, along with its management, determine the benefits and returns.
Farm planning assists farmers in achieving their goals, while at the same time improving the environment.
Urban agriculture is a growing area of farming and gardening opportunities in Allegheny County. Urban agriculture can look like raised beds, full-sized city lots, community gardens, school gardens and more.
Urban agriculture improves soil, enhances sustainability, preserves greenspace, creates areas for community engagement, improves local food security, as well as recreation. ACCD works with partners to bring urban agriculture to municipalities in Allegheny County in several ways.