"The activist group Environment Maryland released a report today urging Maryland and the federal government to make big poultry companies more accountable for controlling polluted runoff from farms where their birds are being raised.
"Corporate Agribusiness and America's Waterways" says that the 538 million chickens raised on the Delmarva Peninsula – many of them owned by Perdue Farms, based in Salisbury – generate approximately 1.1 billion pounds of chicken litter every year. Perdue is the nation's third largest poultry company. Yet the manure generated by the birds raised under contract to poultry companies remains the responsibility of the farmer. Runoff of manure and chemical fertilizer from farmland is one of the leading sources of pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay.
Perdue does offer to remove poultry litter for free, and processes it into dry fertilizer pellets that it sells around the country. But many farmers prefer to use the litter to fertilize their crops, since it's cheaper than chemical fertilizer."
Tim Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun's B'More Green blog November 18, 2010.