poultry house - creative commons photo, USDA

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A grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Program, will help Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. build and market an online and app-based chicken litter matching tool, connecting farmers who need litter to grow crops with chicken growers who have litter to sell.

By improving crop growth and soil health, the effort will support the implementation of Maryland’s Phosphorus Management Tool and Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plans across Delmarva, thereby helping to meet regional water quality and healthy watershed goals.

The nearly $50,000 grant is part of the 2020 round of funding for Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund projects. Over 50 restoration and water quality improvement grants totaling $18.06 million were awarded, leveraging $18.9 million in match from the grantees to generate a total conservation impact of $36.97 million. DPI and supporting partners are providing $10,000 in matching funds.

“Throughout discussions around the PMT and litter transport, we’ve heard time and again of growers who have manure to sell, and grain farmers trying to find manure to buy,” said Holly Porter, DPI’s executive director. “We want to connect those dots. State manure transport programs help to close the gap, but we recognized the need for other tools to help chicken growers and crop farmers connect to give them access to the organic, locally-produced nutrients that chicken litter supplies. This is one of the ways the chicken community is coming together to find solutions for manure transport and management challenges.”

Lancaster Farming