Fertilize Lawns with Care
Spring is here. Finally! And homeowners will begin getting their lawns in shape.
Maryland's Lawn Fertilizer Law -- which took effect Oct. 1, 2013 -- helps protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients entering its waters from a variety of urban sources, including golf courses, parks, recreation areas, athletic fields, and, yes, hundreds of thousands of lawns. Lawn fertilizer now accounts for 44 percent of the fertilizer sold in Maryland.
Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are key ingredients in lawn fertilizer. When it rains, lawn fertilizer can wash into nearby storm drains and streams that empty into the Bay. Once in our waterways, fertilizer contributes to the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching Bay grasses, rob the water of oxygen and threaten underwater life.
While certain restrictions on fertilizer use have been in place for farmers since 2001, everyone needs to do their part to protect and restore the Bay.
Read the press release. For more information, see:
Remember: Do not fertilize if heavy rains are predicted!
Manure. It’s a necessary component of the food production system. We’ve
launched a new web portal as part of a new “Manure Happens” public outreach
campaign. The portal centralizes resources for the general public to better understand
farming practices and rules governing those practices.
The new web page also provides
information for farmers who currently use chemical fertilizers and may want to
consider switching to manure and for farmers who are currently recycling manure as
part of their crop production.
The “Manure Happens” campaign include a series of color
advertisements in media outlets across the state. You might see the “I Recycle”
ad that features happy Holstein cows; the
“Manure Happens” ad that features the backsides of cows in a pasture; and the
“Looks Can Be Deceiving” ad that features a properly formed poultry litter
stockpile during the winter in a field of cover crops.
We’ll also be talking about manure on Twitter @MdAgDept and Facebook