The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Perdue Farms Inc. signed an agreement that will set up a program to help minimize the environmental impact that poultry farms have on the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays around the Delmarva peninsula. The program initially focuses on the largest farms that supply Perdue with chickens.
“Perdue Farms is committed to environmental stewardship and shares that commitment with our farm-family partners. We are pleased to partner with EPA mid-Atlantic region and work cooperatively to enhance the knowledge and implementation of environmental best management practices on poultry farms. We believe it is possible to preserve the family farm and provide a safe, abundant and affordable food supply while protecting our communities and the environment. We feel working together is the most productive route to our shared goals of protecting our natural resources and preserving our family farms,” said Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms Inc.
Runoff from improperly managed poultry farms can adversely affect the water quality of the bay waters and have a negative effect on plant and fish life.
Under the formal Memorandum of Agreement known as the Clean Bays agreement, beginning in 2007, trained flock supervisors from Perdue will visit the larger poultry farms throughout the Delmarva peninsula to evaluate how they are controlling runoff and addressing litter disposal. The supervisors will use a checklist to examine how well the farms are complying with nutrient management regulations related to their poultry operations and identify areas for improvement.
Based on the results of this initial pilot effort, Perdue will use the information gathered from the farms to launch a company-wide environmental management program in 2008 for all of its contract poultry farms throughout the country. Under the program, Perdue, EPA and other partners will provide training and assistance to poultry farmers so that they can learn how to be at or above compliance with guidelines on controlling runoff and managing litter disposal.
For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/