BEACON presents study progress ahead of 2020 PMT regulation changes

SALISBURY, Md.  – “I think that the clock is running out,” said Worcester County farmer, Virigl Shockley.

Farmers on the eastern shore are anxiously waiting to learn the fate of the future of their industry. As they inch closer to finding out if they’ll be required to implement new regulations regarding the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) next year or not.

“Logistically, it is going to be an interesting challenge either one way or the other way,” said Shockley.

Farmers say the new PMT regulations, which may require them to switch from using manure to fertilizer in their crops, could be costly. And the biggest obstacle in their way is where they’re going to put all of the leftover manure.

“There’s a cost to storing it, collecting it, to transporting it, and there’s some cost in that being spread elsewhere,” said Director of BEACON, Dr. Memo Diriker.

Which is where Memo Diriker and his team at BEACON come in. On Friday, Diriker updated farmers and other members of the department of agriculture on the model he’s created to find the most effective approach.

“We are trying to attach to the model all of the information that the inner workings of the model needs to be able to come up with those outcomes. All of that is looked at in a scenario analysis model, in an economic model to be able to say under these assumptions, if x, y, and z happens, this would be the cost, this would be the impact,” said Diriker.

While Dirkier says he still has to continue his research in order to come up with the best possible outcomes, local farmers tell 47 they just want a solution and they want it now.

“I want a solution, find me an alternative. Four years later, we don’t have an alternative,” said Shockley.


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