The Water Quality Working Group (WQWG)—comprised of state and national staff—assembled two weeks ago in Grasonville, Maryland, for the spring session of their biannual meetings. On Wednesday morning, the group discussed the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), NRCS Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) and the work of the Agriculture Nutrient Policy Coalition (ANPC). The afternoon included a visit to Corteva Agriscience’s Chesapeake Farms, where the group toured the grounds and learned about the conservation practices being utilized in the Chesapeake Bay. Attendees also gained insight from a Maryland grower on the area’s required nutrient management planning.
Thursday’s agenda focused on state updates regarding regional policy and programs and included a discussion of the broader implications of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Chesapeake Bay. Panelists from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Nutrient Management Commission and the Delmarva Chicken Association fielded questions which were moderated by Maryland Grain Producers Executive Director Lindsay Thompson. From their organization’s perspective, each gave insights into TDML implementation and best management practices (BMPs).
“The work of the Water Quality Working Group is to continue to raise awareness of the issues facing our growers and to pool our knowledge and experience into advancing conservation and advocacy efforts,” said NCGA Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf. “Hearing grower perspective on the impacts and requirements of Chesapeake Bay’s TDML implementation help prove why we need the efforts of this working group. Being informed and proactive are a top priority in advocating for our growers.”
The Water Quality Working Group brought together state corn staff representing Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and staff from the National Corn Growers Association. The WQWG will reconvene in September of 2022.