Stakeholders Offer Recommendations, Challenge to Address Poultry Litter Management on Delmarva Peninsula

August 5, 2015

PRINCESS ANNE, MD Aug. 5, 2015 – A report issued today by a coalition of grain producers, chicken growers, poultry integrators, conservationists, academic partners, along with agribusiness, finance and service providers, outlines a new way forward for managing nutrient pollution associated with the storage, transport and land application of poultry litter on the Delmarva Peninsula.

The report, “New Approaches to Poultry Litter Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Win-Win Pathways for Agriculture and the Bay,” lays out a “new way forward that begins with a future where a healthy and productive Chesapeake Bay is underpinned by a vibrant and sustainable agricultural economy in the watershed,” the project leaders say. “Our vision does not force a choice between these two outcomes; we have high confidence that both can be achieved simultaneously.”

To that end, the Work Group leaders today also announced the launch of the “Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge” a new initiative through which a diverse group of organizations are joiningforces and collaborating to provide “catalytic leadership” to accomplish by 2025 the goals laid outin the report, including:

  • Delmarva agriculture is regionally neutral in importing and exporting nutrients, and wherever possible, nutrients are recycled locally to support sustainable agricultural operations;
  • Nutrients are utilized in farming operations without negative environmental impacts; and
  • Growers will be rewarded for producing high value food, feed and fiber as well as clean energy and ecosystem services such as clean water, flood control, nutrient recycling carbon sequestration and provisioning of habitat.

The report notes that while federal and state reports confirm that substantial progress has been made over the past five years in reducing nutrient pollution associated with animal agriculture operations, much work remains to be done if the ambitious pollution reduction goals established under the Environmental Protection Agency’s total maximum daily load program are to be achieved.

The Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge’s efforts to address nutrient pollution associated with

responsible land application of animal manure and litter; and b) alternative uses and markets for manure/poultry litter, the report says.

Over the next six months, the Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge aims to bring together stakeholders willing to commit and carry out those recommendations by producing the following deliverables:

  • a detailed plan for creating a multi-stakeholder, landscape scale, shared leadershipplatformwhere stakeholders addressing nutrient pollution from animal agricultureoperations can work across county, state and watershed boundaries and design and deploy better integrated and more uniform policies, programs, practices and projects;
  • an action plan for establishing and funding a center of excellence on the Delmarva Peninsula dedicated to animal agriculture nutrient management support; and
  • a detailed roadmap for designing, implementing and financing an ongoing integratedresearch programthat uses validated “on the ground” and regularly updated dataand proven methodologies to model nutrients levels at all levels.

Work Group leaders say that through the achievement of the goals set out in the report, Delmarva farmers and their agri-business partners will be viewed as respected stewards of the land, guardians of natural resources and champions of the rural cultural heritage in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Work Group is co-chaired by Bobby Hutchison, a Talbot County, MD, grain and vegetable farmer, and Andrew McLean, a Queen Anne’s County, MD, poultry grower. The project is being sponsored by Solutions from the Land, a 501 (c) (3) organization focused on land based solutions to global challenges.

To download a copy of the report, click HERE.

To download an executive summary of the report, click HERE.

For more on the Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge, click HERE.

For additional information, contact Ernie Shea, president of Solutions from the Land, at 410-252-7079, or at [email protected].

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