Potentially Polluting Phosphorus In 18% Of Maryland Farm Fields: State

"Nearly one in five acres of Maryland farmland has enough phosphorus in its soil to potentially threaten local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, according to new state data released Monday.

Soil sampling results collected since last summer by the Department of Agriculture show that about 18 percent of all fields statewide have elevated phosphorus levels. And on the lower Eastern Shore — in the heart of the state’s poultry industry, where phosphorus-rich chicken manure is widely used as fertilizer— data indicate that two out of every three farmed acres have high enough levels of the plant nutrient to pose a risk to water quality.

While more analysis is needed, the phosphorus concentrations in those farm soils are such that at least some of the plant nutrient could be seeping or running off the land and feeding the Bay’s algae blooms and oxygen-starved dead zones."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Bay Journal March 14, 2016.

Source: Bay Journal, 03/15/2016