Animal manure is often used on farms as a natural fertilizer, but if there is too much of it, nutrients from the manure run off into local waterways. According to BayStat, in 2013, Maryland farms produced a total 17,034,788 pounds of nitrogen pollution and 1,560,797 pounds of phosphorus pollution in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Reducing the amount of pollution from excess manure is critical to achieving Maryland’s goals to clean up local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
To help solve this problem, the Department of Agriculture’s Manure Transport Program provides grants to help poultry, dairy and other animal producers transport excess manure off their farms. The goal is to transport manure from farms that cannot handle any more manure to farms that can, or to alternative use facilities.
MCAC believes this program is vital to cleaning up pollution from agriculture, and it will key to implementing the Phosphorus Management Tool. However, there is very little data that is publicly available that can show the level of participation in the program or track where the manure comes from and goes to. We need this data to get an accurate picture of manure transport and disposal in Maryland and to help figure out how to make the program as effective as possible.
Updated: April 2017