Nutrient Management Subject Of Congressional Briefing

Farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed often adopt nutrient management planning in an effort to keep fertilizer on the land and out of the Bay to protect water quality. But what are the costs, and can nutrient management planning help states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed comply with USEPA’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements – while allowing farmers to stay in business?

A soil scientist, an agricultural economist, a farmer, and a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) recently addressed the agricultural, environmental, and economic aspects of nutrient management planning at the congressional educational briefing, “Nutrient Management & the Chesapeake Bay Experience: Economic and Environmental Considerations,” sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

The briefing was held May 30 in Washington, DC.

“American and Pennsylvania farmers are stewards of the land,” says Representative Tim Holden, Democrat from the 17th District of Pennsylvania and a member of the House Agriculture Committee. “Adoption of nutrient management planning will help producers protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed while improving profitability.”

“We are pleased to help shed light on the roles nutrient management planning can play to enhance agricultural production through increased nutrient use efficiency and reducing nutrient run-off to our vital water resources,” says ASA, CSSA, and SSSA CEO Ellen Bergfeld.

Dr. Damona Doye, Regents Professor of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University and C-FARE Chair states, “We are pleased to work across the sciences to examine the benefits and long-term outlook for conservation programs in the Chesapeake Bay.”

Notable experts involved in the briefing included University of Maryland soil scientist and ASA-SSSA member Josh McGrath, Pennsylvania CCA Eric Rosenbaum, Penn State University Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics James Shortle, and Luke Brubaker, a Southeastern Pennsylvania dairy and chicken farm operator.

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