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Agricultural Initiatives

Between 1960 and 2003, Maryland experienced a loss of 1.67 million acres of farmland. At the same time, the population increased by over 2 million people. Population trends show no sign of slowing; farm acreage loss also continues. New state residents are living on land that was once in agriculture. In correlation, overall fertilizer use for the state of Maryland has shown a general upward trend.  Even as farmers, working from scientifically established nutrient standards, have learned to grow more on less land through a judicious application of fertilizers, the use of fertilizers by the general populace has increased noticeably.

All residents of the State contribute to the waste streams that flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Until we get our arms around the management and use of urban fertilizers, we will not make appreciative gains in the improvement of water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. It is inappropriate to continue blaming farmers for poor water quality, particularly since nutrient management goals are not being achieved even as farmers continue to come into compliance with the nutrient management laws of the State, and the farm use of fertilizers trends downward.

Fertilizer Use Trends in Maryland

The Office of Agriculture · 18410 Muncaster Road · Derwood, Md 20855
Phone: 301-590-2823 ยท Fax: 301-590-2839

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