Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: December 19, 2016
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says a survey, which identifies best management practices (BMPs) paid for entirely by farmers, confirms that farmers have done much more than they have ever been given credit for in implementing measures that improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
“The results of the survey unequivocally confirm what Pennsylvania farmers and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau have been telling environmental officials for years – that farmers have not received credit for a wide variety of conservation practices that significantly reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff in the bay watershed. The survey results clearly expose a critical flaw in the existing bay computer model, which refuses to account for any of the numerous best management conservation practices paid for voluntarily and exclusively by farmers,” said PFB President Rick Ebert.
The survey was undertaken by Penn State University’s Survey Research Center and funded by Penn State and the state Department of Environmental Protection. A total of 6,782 farmers in 41 counties completed the survey and more than 700 of those farms were randomly selected for inspections by trained Penn State Extension staff to verify the accuracy of the survey responses. The verification component of the survey confirmed that farmers were accurate in their reporting.
The survey results, farm verification process and other survey-related information were presented to the Chesapeake Bay Agriculture Workgroup last week.
“Apparently, additional work needs to be done to give Pennsylvania full credit for all of the conservation practices identified within the survey. The technical consultant commonly used by EPA has already verified the accuracy of both the method and the results of the survey, as well as the conservation practices implemented by Pennsylvania farmers. There is no legitimate reason why EPA should not move forward quickly to do what needs to be done to give Pennsylvania farmers the credit they deserve,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly
62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.