The Maryland Department of Agriculture hosted a Leadership Roundtable on Wednesday, July, 25th to begin discussion on Phase 3 of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland Farm Bureau is working to ensure the development of a “fair” plan for agriculture that does not over-burden our farmers. We were pleased that all participants at the meeting agreed that practices must be economically beneficial to farm operations. Most agree that states and sectors that have not been as successful as Ag in Maryland should step-up and do their part. There is an emphasis on the Conowingo Dam and the sediment pond that is over-capacity. It appears that Maryland, as a whole ,will have to remove an additional 1.3 million pounds of nitrogen than originally anticipated. The final stages of the plan to meet the Chesapeake Bay TMDL by 2025 will be written over the next 6 months. During that time, the BMPs, cost-share and sector divisions will be discussed. Your role as an active member of the farm community is critical.
We encourage you to attend the county planning meetings that begin in early August. Here’s a link to the schedule of local county WIP meetings. A draft plan should be available early this fall. Your input at the county meetings will decide what goes in that plan.
Click the links below to see the material that was presented at the recent Leadership Roundtable.