Phosphorous Management Tool Report Delayed - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Phosphorous Management Tool Report Delayed

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 CAMBRIDGE, Md.- An economic impact study, ordered by the Maryland General Assembly at the end of last year, was due to be released on Thursday.  But in an email from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the department said the release of the report and subsequent briefing was being postponed.

WBOC spoke with an MDA spokesperson Thursday, who said the delay could only be attributed to "unforeseen circumstances". 

On Delmarva, farmers who were looking forward to weighing in at the meeting Thursday were disappointed.  One farmer, Wendell Meekins of Handley Farms, told us farmers were on a razor's edge, waiting to see just how much this report could hurt them, and the constant delays were frustrating.

"Field conditions because of the rain earlier this week made it very likely that they would have good attendance and feedback from their meeting.  But maybe they don't want that," said Meekins.

The MDA says they do not have a timeline for when the report will be released.

The PMT, proposed in 2013, would implement limits on the amount of phosphorous that can be in the soil of farmland.  Many farmers on Delmarva rely on chicken litter for fertilizer, which can lead to high phosphorous levels.  Farmers are concerned the implementation of the new regulation could rule out the use of chicken litter, leading them to buy new equipment to spread different and more expensive types of fertilizer.

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