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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 18, 2003

State, poultry companies pay farmers to use poultry manureState, poultry companies pay farmers to use poultry manure

(RICHMOND)- A new water quality project to develop self-sustaining markets for poultry litter from Virginia's main poultry producing counties will pay farmers $6 per acre to use litter as fertilizer. The Virginia Department of Conservation (DCR) and the Virginia Poultry Federation are funding this initial trial.

Poultry litter will be removed from either Rockingham or Page county; officials estimate the pilot project could move 16,000 tons of litter from a part of the state where there is great potential it will degrade water quality. That same litter provides an agronomic benefit to farmers in other counties.

Farmers in 15 counties who haven't previously used poultry litter as fertilizer can do so and be paid a portion of the application costs. Farms are eligible in these counties: Albemarle, Amherst, Botetourt, Clarke, Culpeper, Frederick, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Rappahannock, Rockbridge and Warren.

DCR administers this project through its agricultural Nutrient Management Program. Applications to participate can be found in Cooperative Extension offices, soil and water conservation districts or DCR regional offices. DCR began accepting applications March 15. Funding is on a first-come, first-served basis after application approval.

For more information, call Scott Ambler at DCR at (804) 786-2235 or see the website at <www.dcr.virginia.gov>.

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