Startup to Launch Farm to Six-Pack Movement in DE
Delaware farmers might soon be able to wet their beaks in the nation’s booming craft beer industry. At least that’s the concept behind Proximity Malt. The Milwaukee-based startup plans to open a processing plant near Laurel by mid-2017 where locally grown barley can be converted into malt specifically for use by craft brewers and other malt users in the Mid-Atlantic region. To read the full story go here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/money/business/2016/05/01/startup-launch-farm--six-pack-movement-delaware/83794894/
R-CALF USA Sues USDA Again Over Beef Check Off
The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) has filed another lawsuit against USDA claiming the beef checkoff is unconstitutional. For those unfamiliar the beef checkoff (and other checkoff programs) producers pay a portion of proceeds on sales into a fund that supports research and promotion of the commodity. In the case of beef, the checkoff funds the “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” campaign. In the lawsuit, R-CALF claims the checkoff violates beef producers' First Amendment rights by forcing producers to pay for a marketing strategy the producers have no say in. Read more about the story here, http://bit.ly/1Tt1Zp1.
Is The Estate Tax Destroying the Environment?
Brian Seasholes has released an interesting report looking at how the environment is being impacted by the federal estate tax exemption. The report discusses the need to eliminate the tax due to landowners having apprehensions with participating in conservation programs. The TaxProf Blog provides a summary and a link to the full report, http://bit.ly/26SMfpj.
MPP May Be Paying for Some Dairy Producers
The 2014 Farm Bill created a new dairy program, the Margin Protection Program. The program is a risk management tool and you can learn about it here (http://1.usa.gov/24s20EZ). Peter Vitaliano with National Milk Producers Federation told Brownfield News this week that March margins were the lowest since the program started and April’s will probably be around $7 to $7.50 trigger a payment for those selecting the higher margins. To read more and listen to Dr. Vitaliano’s interview, click here http://bit.ly/24s18QO.
Reminder: June 1 is Deadline to Self-Certify Conservation Compliance
For those purchasing crop insurance for the first time this year or for those who have had changes in their operations from previous years, just a reminder that June 1 is the deadline for producers to file an AD-1026 with their local Farm Service Agency (FSA)office. The form certifies that producers who receive federal dollars (from either FSA or crop insurance) have not farmed highly erodible land with out a conservation plan or farmed wetlands. For more information on Conservation Compliance, see http://go.umd.edu/ConCompliance.
Upcoming Solar and Wind Energy Leasing Workshop in Kent County
Landowners in Maryland have been contacted by solar and wind energy companies about leasing property for large scale energy production. For those landowners in Kent County, the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland Extension, Agriculture Law Education Initiative, and Center for Environment and Society at Washington College will sponsor a workshop on June 6 in the Hynson Lounge on Washington College’s campus. The workshop will feature Dr. Sebastian Houde discussing the economics associated with these solar and wind leases and Ashley Ellixson and Paul Goeringer discussing legal issues related to these long-term leases. The workshop is free to attend and you can sign up at http://go.umd.edu/SolarWorkshop.