December 14, 2020– The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Phosphorus Management Tool Transition Advisory Committee met earlier today to discuss and vote on a one-year delay to the full implementation of Maryland’s Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT). Maryland Farm Bureau’s (MDFB) farmer representative to the advisory committee voted in favor of a one-year delay consistent with state Farm Bureau policy.
MDFB believes that there are not adequate resources available to fully implement the PMT at this time, and that full implementation will result in significant negative economic consequences to farms with elevated levels of legacy phosphorus. MDA’s soil data shows that 70% of fields located in the three lower shore counties have a phosphorus FIV of 150 or higher.
“Making sure that our members on the lower Eastern Shore have a voice in this process in critical at times like this,” said Wayne Stafford, MDFB President. “Our grassroots-developed policy is clear that there are still too many deficiencies for us to move forward with full implementation.”
Farm Bureau’s board of directors has suggested the following areas be addressed before full implantation of the PMT is considered, using the BEACON study analysis as a baseline:
Maryland Farm Bureau and its members are dedicated to the mission of the Phosphorus Management Tool Transition Advisory Committee and using the Phosphorus Management Tool. For the highest likelihood of success and largest impact on the environment we all live and work in, we hope the Maryland Department of Agriculture will help address our above issues as implementation begins.