Manure Manager

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MD nutrient management forms are in the mail


February 1, 2011
By Maryland Department of Agriculture

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January 25, 2011,
Annapolis, MD – Maryland farmers will notice a few changes when they receive
their 2010 Nutrient Management Annual Implementation Reporting Forms (AIR) in
the mail over the next several days, according to officials at the Maryland
Department of Agriculture (MDA).
January 25, 2011,
Annapolis, MD – Maryland farmers will notice a few changes when they receive
their 2010 Nutrient Management Annual Implementation Reporting Forms (AIR) in
the mail over the next several days, according to officials at the Maryland
Department of Agriculture (MDA)
.

The AIRs are due to MDA by
March 1.

The reporting forms were
mailed the week of January 17 to approximately 5,500 Maryland farmers who are
regulated under Maryland’s Nutrient Management Program. These farmers are
required to follow nutrient management plans on their farms and submit Annual
Implementation Reports (AIRs)
to MDA by March 1 describing how they utilized
nutrients in the previous calendar year. 

“The AIR looks somewhat
different this year,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Earl F. Hance. “We’ve
made several changes in our reporting requirements that will enable us to
better characterize how farmers are managing nutrients. This will help us to present
a more accurate picture of agriculture’s role in protecting water quality as we
move forward with the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort and Maryland’s Watershed
Implementation Plan
,” he added.  

According to Secretary
Hance, in previous years, farmers reported manure and other organic nutrient
sources as total tons or gallons applied. This year, MDA is asking for the
nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content of all nutrients applied to be
reported in pounds. Information on the amount of nutrients contained in manure
or other organic nutrient sources should be available in the farm’s nutrient
management plan or on a current manure analysis. MDA is also providing a
calculation worksheet and lookup tables to help farmers determine the amount of
nutrients contained in these sources. In addition, an Excel spreadsheet
calculator will be available on MDA’s web site to help farmers convert
nutrients contained in manure/organic sources to specific rates of nitrogen,
phosphorus or potassium.  

For farmers who prefer to
file their AIRs electronically, a fillable PDF reporting form is available on
MDA’s web site. The electronic form has been reformatted in order to make it
easier to follow and more user-friendly. MDA strongly encourages farmers to
take advantage of electronic reporting, which reduces processing time and
virtually eliminates data entry errors. Farmers can access the electronic
reporting form by visiting www.mda.state.md.us and clicking on Nutrient
Management
. The electronic form appears in the upper right corner of the screen
as a PDF with fillable fields.

For more information,
farmers should contact their regional nutrient management office or call the
Nutrient Management Program at 410-841-5959.