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March 27, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 27, 1998
 

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26 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 27 - April 2, 1998 DPI f'mds $1 milfion to combat inland bays pJ 00blems By Michael Short The Delmarva Poultry Industry (DPI) Inc. is finding plenty of tak- ers for the up to $1 million pledged over four years by the in- dustry in October to do environ- mental research. DPI Executive Director Bill Satterfield said the poultry indus- USDA Delaware quality incentives Delaware has received $901,000 to underwrite the Envi- ronmental Quality Incentives Pro- gram (EQIP) of the U. S. Depart- ment of Agriculture (USDA) for 1998. "EQIP is available for farmers to address conservation concerns in four priority areas," said Natur- al Resources Conservation Ser- vice (NRCS) state conservationist Elesa Cottrell. "Financial assistance is avail- able through five to 10 year con- tracts to help defray the costs of implementing essential conserva- tion practices," she said. "Techni- cal assistance is also available through EQIP. "This is the second year EQIP will be available to Delaware farmers:' C0ttrell said. "EQIP fo- cuses on priority environmental concerns in Delaware identified by local people. The program will maximize environmental benefits per dollar spent. It reflects the de- partment's commitment to flexi- ble, effective and voluntary con- servation programs on privately owned lands. The Delaware pro- gram focuses primarily on water quality issues." The four priority areas funded for 1998 are the Northern Corri- dor, Three M, Inland Bays and up- per Nanticoke River projects. The Northern Corridor project area in- cludes the C and D Canal, Appo- quinimink River, Blackbird Creek, Chesapeake drainage sys- tem and Smyrna River. The Three M project area includes the Mur- derkill, Mispillion and Marshy- hope River watersheds. The Inland Bays watershed area includes the Indian River, Little Assawoman and Rehoboth Bay watersheds. The Upper Nanticoke River watershed includes the main Nanticoke and its immediate trib- utaries. Funds have also been allo- cated for use throughout the state to address excess nutrient con- try, beat up over the issue of Pries- teria in the region last summer, does not consider itself responsi- ble for that problem. But Satterfield said the poultry industry is trying to be proactive, especially since environmental re- search related to the industry has been done for years. "We thought environmental program slated terns. EQIP is the department's largest conservation program on land in production agriculture. EQIP is authorized through 2002. Nation- ally, one-half of the funds are tar- geted to livestock-related natural resource needs while the remain- der goes to other significant con- servation priorities. At least 65 percent of the funds will be used in priority areas and up to 35 per- cent can be used for other signifi- cant statewide natural resource concerns in fiscal year 1998. Farmers who voluntarily agree to address the primary concerns in the priority areas will be given preference for an EQIP contract. Program participation is limited to indivduals who are engaged in livestock or agricultural produc- tion. EQIP may provide cost-share assistance for up to 75 percent of the costs of certain conservation practices, such as filter strips and manure management facilities. In- centive payments can be made for up to three years to encourage producers to perform land man- agement practices such as nutri- ent, manure and integrated pest management. Total cost share and incentive payments are limited to $10,000 per person per year and $50,000 for the length of the con- tract. Eligibility restrictions apply to large confined livestock opera- tions. This is to ensure that cost- share help for manure storage or treatment facilities goes only to operations of small to medium size. The program is administered by NRCS and the Farm Service Agency with local guidance from conservation districts and county committees. For more informa- tion, contact the Sussex County USDA Service Center at 408 North DuPont Highway, George- town, DE 19947. Forbes to speak at Del Tech April 14 Steve Forbes, a 1996 Republican presidential candidate, will speak at a breakfast at the William Carter Partnership Center at Delaware Tech- nical & Community College, Georgetown. Forbes is president and chief executive officer of Forbes Inc. and edi- tor-in-chief of "Forbes" magazine. Forbes campaigned often in Delaware prior to the state's Republican primary, and was rewarded by voters with a victory. His stop in Sussex County at 7:30 a.m., on Tues- day, April 14, is the final stop on an eight-state, two-week tour to speak about taxes and tax code reform. Tickets for the event are $15 per per- son. For more information, call 856-6323. Bruce A. Rogers, chairman of the Sussex County Republican Party, said Forbes' visit to Sussex County shows how important Delaware's primary is to presidential candidates. the time was fight to step up to the plate and be more proactive." Satterfield spoke to the Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) in Janu- ary, telling them the industry wants to do its part to protect the environment. "Farmers are scared in Maryland," he told the grofip, urging more education without a rush to regulation. He said the research is expected to focus on several areas, all of which show promise. Among the areas of interest are additives to poultry manure and chicken food. One such additive to poultry manure or litter (which combines manure and sawdust), aluminum sulfate, helps to bind phosphorous so that it does not run off into wa- terways like the inland bays. That w6uld keep phosphorous in the soil and seems to be an ideal solu- tion. But the issue may need further study because aluminum can he toxic. There are also enzymes that can be added to corn or new varieties of corn that may reduce the I amount of phosphorous in chicken manure. Satterfield explained that chick- ens cannot process much of the phosphorous found in corn. That means it simply passes undigested into chicken manure. Because the birds need phosphorous, they must then receive supplemental phosphorous to maintain adequate nutrition. But various new varieties of corn may be lower in phosphorous or may contain phosphorous that is more readily used by the birds, which could lower phosphorous levels in manure. Also, enzymes can be added to foods that help chickens to use the phosphorous in their food. Both could lower phosphorous levels. "We want to make sure it is good research," said Satterfield. He said there are a lot of things to be considered and that DPI hopes to have more detailed research proposals by the beginning of summer. Most of the research proposals have come from the Mid-Atlantic Region and Satterfield said there has been no shortage of interest from colleges and other re- searchers. Specializing i** Total Thrn-Key Land / Home Packag&,