Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. Supports New Phosphorus Management Program in Maryland
Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., the trade association for the chicken industry on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, applauds Governor Larry Hogan for his newly announced initiative to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay while recognizing the needs of Maryland's farmers and chicken growers.
The new farmer and bay improvement program will advance state efforts to improve water quality. Through the immediate limitations on phosphorus applications on farmland thought to be the highest risk for phosphorus loss, the state will not have to wait years to reach that point. Those changes will go into effect upon implementation of the regulation, ahead of the previously proposed regulation.
Chicken growers concerned about handling their manure due to a reduction in available farmland application sites will have several protections. These chicken growers will move to the head of the line for benefiting from the state of Maryland/chicken companies' financed manure transport program to move their locally produced organic fertilizer to farms where it can be used. Additionally, Governor Hogan's program calls for accelerated initiatives to investigate alternative uses of chicken manure and when prudent, support for on-the-ground alternative use facilities. Maryland Department of Agriculture efforts in recent years have provided grants for two on-the-farm manure-to-energy pilot projects, but state-investigated regional manure-to-energy projects have failed.
If in a few years there is not adequate capacity to handle chicken growers' manure because new alternative use facilities are not operating, there will be a relief valve to help those growers through reconsideration of the regulation phase-in schedule. This is an important part of the governor's program that Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. sought. We appreciate its inclusion in the new water quality improvement initiative.
"Since taking office, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. and other agricultural groups have been working with Governor Hogan and his team to develop a workable, sensible, affordable program to improve water quality," noted President Kurt Fuchs. "We appreciate being at the table during these discussions and look forward to working with Governor Hogan and members of the General Assembly to continue the agricultural community’s already considerable progress on environmental protection."
Click here to read details about Governor Hogan's initiative.