Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plans (SCWQP) or Conservation Plans are a valuable tool for farmers to manage resources and improve profitability. A conservation plan is a working document designed to fit each individual farmer's needs while protecting and conserving their soil and water resources.
A conservation plan folder contains:

  • Aerial photo of the farm which includes property boundaries, topography, current and proposed BMPs, and possibly other resource items;

  • A written record of the landowners decisions regarding cropping sequences, residue management, and nutrient management, with a plan for implementation and;

  • A map showing soil types and boundaries along with descriptions and capability classes showing suitability for cropland, forestland, and wildlife habitat.

Conservation plans are not mandatory unless all or part of the farm falls within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, or you are applying for or currently participate in an agricultural land preservation program, or participate in any state or Federal cost share programs.

If you are interested in developing a conservation plan for your farm, please contact one of the conservation planners to set up an on-farm visit. The planner will need to walk the farm and take notes on current farming practices and identify any resource issues which may need to be addressed.  These plans are free and should be updated at least every 10 years.

 Contact a planner today to get your Conservation Plan updated!

A Cooperator's Agreement includes these three parts:


  • In conserving and improving the soil, water, and related resources on my property.

  • In requesting assistance in developing a conservation plan or conservation work for my property based on my needs and good land use and management.

  • To carry out this plan as rapidly as my resources and the assistance available to me will permit, and to maintain the conservation measures that I establish.


  • The Talbot Conservation District will furnish technical and other assistance in helping to develop the conservation system and in helping to establish and maintain measures called for in accordance with resources available and operating policies in effect at the time the work is done.

It is mutually agreed that:

  • The Talbot SCD or its representative has the right to go upon my property in developing and carrying out this plan.

  • The Talbot SCD nor the Cooperator will be liable for damages to the other unless such damages are caused by negligence or misconduct.

  • The conservation plan will remain in effect until terminated in writing by either party.

A recently completed Wetland Restoration project in a previously cropped field with hydric soils.

A recently completed Wetland Restoration project in a previously cropped field with hydric soils.

CNMP Planning

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP's) are required for all confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) in Maryland in order to be covered under the National Pollution Elimination Discharge Permit (NPDES) administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment.