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State agriculture department expands manure transport program

October 22, 2012

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced that it has received $500,000 in additional funding from the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund to expand its Manure Transport Program, including all types of eligible livestock operations seeking financial assistance to transport excess manure off their farms.

In recent years, due to budget reductions, Transport Program grants have been awarded almost exclusively to poultry producers shipping poultry litter out of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The additional funding will now allow dairy, beef, swine and other livestock producers to apply for cost-share grants to transport manure away from farms with too little land to spread the manure due to high soil phosphorus levels.

Established in 1998, Maryland’s Manure Transport Program helps poultry, dairy, beef and other livestock producers cover the costs of transporting excess manure off their farms. Animal producers with high soil phosphorus levels or inadequate land to properly utilize their manure can receive cost-share assistance of up to $18 per ton to transport excess manure to other farms in accordance with an approved nutrient management plan, or alternative use facilities that can use the product safely.

Farmers interested in applying for grants through the Manure Transport Program should contact their local soil conservation district or call the Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5864. 
 
In Fiscal Year 2012, Maryland farmers transported 35,400 tons of manure to approved farms and businesses using $300,310 in state grants. Delmarva poultry companies provided matching funds to transport poultry litter, bringing the total amount of financial support provided to farmers through the Manure Transport Program to $592,800.

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