RICHMOND—As the agriculture industry makes strides toward meeting cleanup goals for the Chesapeake Bay, poultry litter producers and brokers are being reminded of phased-in reporting requirements that became effective Feb. 17, 2021.
The requirements were approved by the State Water Control Board during the regulatory action on the Virginia Pollution Abatement Regulation and General Permit for Poultry Waste Management, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Litter containing poultry manure, leftover bedding and uneaten feed can be used as fertilizer for crops and pasture in accordance with a required nutrient management plan or approved alternative application schedules. These application requirements limit the possibility of nitrogen and phosphorus in poultry litter potentially seeping into waterways and compromising water quality.
The Virginia Pollution Abatement Regulation and General Permit for Poultry Waste Management recently was reissued for another 10-year term, with some changes.
Beginning this year and annually thereafter, permitted poultry growers and brokers are required to submit their records of litter transfers for the preceding state fiscal year to DEQ no later than Sept. 15. The 365-day fiscal year is defined as July 1 through June 30.
Previously, DEQ staff would collect the information during farm visits. Now poultry growers, poultry waste end-users and brokers can register and use the myDEQ Portal to enter and submit poultry litter transfer records.
The portal “is an efficient way to track and report poultry litter transactions throughout the year. Using the web-based portal will allow the creation and submittal of the poultry litter transfer records all in one place,” said Betsy Bowles, DEQ State Animal Feeding Operation Program coordinator.
Paper reporting is available to those without digital connectivity.
“And remember, this same reporting requirement will go into effect for poultry waste end users in 2024, who use litter for crop and pasture production,” said Tony Banks, senior assistant director of agriculture, development and innovation for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “That means next year every farmer who acquires poultry litter from a poultry grower or broker will have to report their transaction to DEQ. That’s a lot of farmers who haven’t typically had contact with DEQ in the past.”
For a full list of requirements, visit shorturl.at/jLWZ7, or contact Bowles with questions at 804-659-1913.