AmericanFarm.com

Analysis of MDA’s PMT structure on hold again

By BRUCE HOTCHKISS
Senior Editor

SALISBURY, Md. (Oct. 14, 2014) — The long-awaited report, analyzing and exploring the economics of implementing the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Phosphorous Management Tool has been delayed again.
“I need a few additional days to clean up the narrative so the release will be early next week,” Dr. Memo Diriker, author of the report, told The Delmarva Farmer late last week.
Dr. Diriker is director of BEACON , the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University’s Perdue School of Business.
He has been working with some 4,500 pages of information submitted to him by the members of two especially appointed committees, one offering a microeconomic perspective and are offering a macroeconomic preview.
The committees were designed to represent the viewpoints of the agricultural community, on one hand, and the environmental community on the other, two often conflicting points of view. The environmental position is that the farmer’s use of poultry litter as a fertilizer — the source of the phosphorous — is polluting the Chesapeake Bay.
The farmers argue, with passion, that having to buy commercial fertilizer could drive them out of business.
Those two committees are what Dr. Diriker calls his stakeholders.
When he is finally satisfied by the narrative of his report, he will submit it to the stakeholders and for a final peer review before it goes ahead to the MDA.
“I also intend to hold a stakeholders meeting at Chesapeake College to answer any questions,” Dr. Diriker said at week’s end. 
“I have received, and incorporated into the report, feedback from internal and external reviews. But that process is not yet fully completed.”