Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/maryland-department-of-agriculture-public-briefing/1062009/164213

Maryland Department of Agriculture Public Briefing


Cape Life
Wicomico Youth & Civic Center
500 Glen Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21804
www.wicomicociviccenter.prg
Oct 08, 2013
6:00 PM

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will hold a public briefing at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m. During this briefing, the MDA will explain the Phosphorus Management Tool regulations and the process by which they are developed and revised, outline resources available to farmers to help manage the impact of the newly placed regulations and answer any questions or concerns that the public may have.

On Sept. 5, the MDA concluded the discussion with key stakeholders about the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT), bringing clarity to how it works and how it can be applied. Therefore, the MDA has agreed to hold briefings to inform famers of the new process prior to the 30-day public comment period.

“We appreciate the input we received from the agricultural and environmental representatives who met with us and we believe that the revised proposal addresses their concerns,” said Secretary Buddy Hance. “The O’Malley Administration remains committed to implementing the new tool in a way that is responsive to various stakeholder concerns while also ensuring our farmers have the technical and financial resources they need to comply with new regulations.”

The PMT will replace the Phosphorus Site Index, identifying areas where excess phosphorus is present in the soil and where a high potential phosphorus loss exists, also allowing farmers to evaluate management options that can reduce the risk of phosphorus losses from agricultural fields to nearby waterways. The PMT will be included in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual and incorporated by reference into COMAR 15.20.08.

MDA will meet with key stakeholders regularly to address any issues that arise from the implementation of the regulations. For more information, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is on Twitter @MdAgDept and Facebook at www.facebook.com/MdAgDept.