Maryland Department of Agriculture is hosting a series of public briefings across the state for farmers, environmental interests, local governments and other stakeholders on the Phosphorus Management Tool revised regulations. The big question is: Is it a tool or a regulation or both?
The briefings aim to inform farmers of the regulatory revisions before the 30-day public comment period, which begins with publication in the Maryland Register, likely on Oct. 18.
MDA officials will explain the Phosphorus Management Tool regulations and the process by which they were developed and revised. They'll also outline resources available to farmers to help manage the impact of the regulations, answer questions and address farmer concerns.
Briefing dates and locations
The first briefing was held Wednesday in Walkersville, Md.
The next one will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, Flanders Meeting Rooms, 500 Glen Ave., in Salisbury, Md.
The third briefing is set for Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m., at th Talbot County Community Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway, Easton, Md.
For more information contact Jenny Rhodes, University of Maryland Extension, Queen Anne's County, Centreville, Md., at 410-758-0166.
MDA revitalizes manure matching and transport programs
The Ag Department is upgrading its Manure Matching Service to complement the expanded Manure Transport Program – all in anticipation of the P Management Tool. The service connects livestock producers having excessive animal manure with other farmers or alternative use projects.
The program is available to all types of animal producers with excess manure, including poultry, dairy, beef, hog and horse operations. Contact the matching service, toll-free, at 1-855-662-6873 to begin the process.
Producers register by completing an application that includes details about the type of manure available, nutrient value, condition and price. MDA provides that information to potential recipients who furnish information about their location, nutrient and timing needs. A manure analysis is performed to determine manure nutrient content and help negotiate a fair price.
The Manure Transport Program helps cover costs of transporting excess manure off farms. For more information on both programs, contact your local soil conservation district or MDA at 1-855- 662-6873. Information also is available online at www.mda.maryland.gov .