DPI Opposes Maryland Senate Bill 725

Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., the trade association for the Delmarva Peninsula's meat-chicken industry, STRONGLY opposes Maryland Senate Bill 725, the chicken tax bill. Labeled the Poultry Fair Share Act, we ask these questions about the bill.

Is it fair?

  • To put the entire cover crop program on the back of 800 Maryland chicken growers and five companies?
  • To deprive Maryland farmers throughout the state of state cover crop money just because they have not used chicken manure when Governor O'Malley touts the cover crop program as a huge success in water quality improvement?
  • To create a selective tax on one industry? Isn't that a flawed tax policy?
  • To put the entire Maryland agricultural community at risk since without a chicken industry there will be little need for corn and soybean farmers anywhere in the state, including Montgomery County?
  • To ignore the fact that chicken growers, through the Maryland Agricultural Cost Share Program, in the last ten years voluntarily have spent more than four million dollars for just three on-the-farm environmental programs (manure storage buildings, carcass composters, and heavy use area pads) and much more on additional farm practices?
  • To ignore the fact that the chicken companies voluntarily have spent more than $4.5 million since the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1998 to move chicken manure to farms or alternative use facilities that wanted it?
  • To ignore the fact that the chicken companies voluntarily in the last seven years have spent more than a quarter of a million dollars to help chicken growers plant trees and tall grasses on their farms for air and water quality improvements?
  • To ignore the fact that Perdue Farms voluntary constructed and operates a plant to convert manure into fertilizer pellets as an alternative to land application for growers, investing more than $45 million in the last dozen years without any profit?
  • To ignore the fact that our members have examined more than 50 different types of technology to convert manure into something else and yet have not found one that will work and be affordable?
  • To ignore the fact that chicken growers and companies with Maryland facilities are paying the Bay Restoration Fee like other property owners?
  • To drive the chicken industry and crop farmers out of Maryland when the agricultural community is 30% ahead of the state's Watershed Implementation Plan goals?

This bill has the potential to drive the chicken industry out of Maryland. This bill must be stopped.

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