Associated Press Published

State Reports Progress in Farm Nutrient Planning


West Virginia’s Department of Agriculture says plans have been written for managing fertilizer and other nutrients on 90,000 acres in the state’s eight-county Chesapeake Bay drainage region.

Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt says West Virginia is furthest along among the bay’s watershed states toward the goal, which helps restore land for productive use.

The plans document practices and strategies by livestock operations to address soil erosion, manure, disposal of other organic waste and fertilizer applications.

Excesses can contaminate groundwater.

According to the department, nutrient management plans were written for many poultry operations beginning in the mid-1990s, but a decision was made in 2010 to start over.

Leonhardt says the region’s farmers who implement plans in the voluntary program deserve recognition while other states have established regulatory programs with punishment for non-compliance.