All farms are not created equal, but new state regulations to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay are treating farms across Maryland the same, potentially threatening to put some farmers out of business, according to opponents of the rules...For example, with the big cities and their sewage treatment plants, the Federal government has been giving the cities money to build new and improved sewage treatment plants, well in advance of the actual improvement in nutrient outputs. Fair?
Frederick County has 106 dairy farms, the most in the state. When the new rules go into effect starting in 2016, farmers will have a stricter time frame to apply manure to their fields and will have to build larger manure-storage facilities. They will also have to fence off portions of their pastures to keep livestock out of streams and creeks.
Who pays the bill for the changes has “yet to be determined,” according to Denny Remsburg, manager of Frederick and Catoctin’s Soil Conservation District, a self-governing state entity that works to address the county’s soil and water conservation needs. Financial help is predicated on farmers being in compliance with state regulations, Remsburg said.
Will we have to import our milk from China?
But farmers are unclear what kind of assistance they will receive, and if it will cover the cost of the proposed changes.The state cannot provide a cost analysis, and that concerns him, Eidiger said.Manure-storage facilities can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said. “This is just going to put the farmers out of business, especially the dairy farmer,” he said.