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Jim Perdue: My company is addressing poultry waste

Poultry manure is often stored in sheds like this one during the fall and winter when it's not appropriate to spread it on farm fields. Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms says his company has spent millions of dollars to protect the Chesapeake Bay from high-phosphorus waste.
Poultry manure is often stored in sheds like this one during the fall and winter when it's not appropriate to spread it on farm fields. Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms says his company has spent millions of dollars to protect the Chesapeake Bay from high-phosphorus waste. (Doug Kapustin, 2008)

Recently, The Baltimore Sun inappropriately named Perdue Farms in an editorial accusing Delmarva poultry companies broadly of shirking responsibility to manage poultry litter (“Clean up Maryland’s poultry manure problem now,” Nov. 18). I want to set the record straight that as a proud member of the Delmarva community for 100 years, Perdue believes protecting the Chesapeake Bay is good business and means being a good neighbor.

Since 2001, Perdue has invested $90 million to operate the area’s only agricultural recycling facility. We have converted 2.5 billion pounds of poultry litter into an organic fertilizer for companies like Scotts Miracle-Gro and into compost that can improve soil health which ultimately keeps pollution out of waterways. In addition, in 18 years, we have recycled 70 million pounds of nitrogen and 46 million pounds of phosphorous, half of which was moved outside the Chesapeake watershed. We are turning that facility over to a partner who can add an anaerobic digester, which will increase processing capacity and generate renewable energy for our area. Perdue will continue to supply biomass to the facility.

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The Sun should recognize its fellow area businesses can operate profitably and responsibly, as Perdue Farms will continue to do.

Jim Perdue, Salisbury

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The writer is chairman of Perdue Farms.

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