January 27, 2012 – Maryland State Senator Barry Glassman, (R) 35 Northern Harford County said he is tired of Maryland's farmers having to carry the load to help clear-up Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland Farmers lead the nation in use of cover crops to take up nutrients between full harvest and spring planting. Last year, 400,000 acres were planted which exceeded the 2 year Watershed Improvement Plan by 75,000 acres.
Maryland agricultural Best Management Practices or farmland accounts for 67% of 2.5 million pounds of nitrogen even though farms are responsible for only 40% of nitrogen loads.
By last fall, Maryland farmers had accomplished over 120% of the first 2 year milestone for nitrogen reduction established under Maryland WIP goals.
Based on those results, the Senator is proposing a prohibition on new regulations that are intended to help the State meet the Agriculture sector requirements of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay unless New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia have achieved or exceeded the percentage of reduction of nitrogen and the percentage reduction of phosphorus that the State has achieved from 2009 Levels that is attributed to the Agricultural Sector.
Glassman concluded that "Maryland farmers are put to an economic disadvantage compared to competitors in other Chesapeake watershed states and further mandates to have them carry the load alone for the region will hasten its demise in Maryland."
Senator Glassman is serving his second term in the Maryland Senate and served previously as a Harford County Councilman and Maryland State Delegate. If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact Senator Glassman at (410)440-9267.