Aerial farmland photo

A Penn State study says possible tougher water-quality regulations due to the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay could lead to reduced farming in areas such as Lancaster County.

Seven farms in Lancaster County have been preserved by the state’s ag preservation program.

Preserved farms are:

Sylvan M. and Annie S. Esch farm, 181-acre crop and livestock farm in Fulton Township. Preservation easement of $449,152 paid.

Randall and Martha Clugston farm, two crop and livestock farms totaling 54 acres in Manor Township. Preservation easements totaling $90,939 paid.

Fay P. Herr farm, 11-acre crop and livestock farm in Colerain Township. Preservation easement of $34,952 paid.

Ray A. and Paul E. Kunkle, and Raeann Harnish farm, 54-acre crop and livestock farm in Conoy Township. Preservation easement of $179,758 paid.

Daniel B. and Mary L. Stoltzfus farm, 66-acre crop and livestock farm in Fulton Township. Preservation easement of $231,455 paid.

Michael L. and Cheryl E. Zimmerman farm, 111-acre crop and livestock farm in Mount Joy Township. Preservation easement of $412,626 paid.

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program preserved 2,999 acres on 33 farms in 12 counties recently.

There were added to the 5,100 farms and more than 500,000 acres that have been preserved under the state program that began in 1988.

The program helps the state, county and local governments purchase conservation easements, or development rights, from owners of quality farmland.

The initiative is designed to identify and preserve farmland to slow the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses.

“Farmland is a precious resource that is increasingly threatened by development,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Farm families are the original stewards of that precious natural resource, and Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation program supports their efforts to keep their valuable land in agricultural production for future generations.”

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