Phosphorus Management Tool Debate Continues In MD - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Phosphorus Management Tool Debate Continues In MD

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MARYLAND - While Maryland farmers wait on an economic impact study on the state's proposed phosphorus management tool, legislators are now taking action.

Among their efforts, Congressman Andy Harris says if the tool does not come out right for farmers, he may try to withhold federal money from coming into the state.

However, with the study expected to end in July, farmers are still worried.

"You're not going to come up with a comprehensive study in three and a half months there's no way," says Virgil Shockley, a Worcester County Commissioner and poultry farmer in Maryland.

"There's no poultry houses going up now in Maryland, they're all being built in Virginia and Delaware simply because of rules and regulations in Maryland," says Eddie Johnson, an agriculture consultant in Westover, Maryland.

The tool could potentially limit the amount farmers can use in fertilizer, and in many cases farmers use chicken manure as fertilizer, which tends to be high in phosphorus.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture says they expect the study to be peer-reviewed by early September, and for the tool to go into effect before next year.

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