Gov. Hogan Stands by Ag, Poultry Industries. Delmarva's multi-million dollar poultry industry is alive and well and growing and should get even bigger and better with renewed backing by Maryland's highest-level elected official and an emerging marketing strategy targeting consumers. "There is a reason why there is a farmer on our state seal in Maryland," Maryland Gov Larry Hogan said. "You are such an important part of our history" and "our heritage." To read the full story click here: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/2016/04/21/hogan-maryland-poultry-perdue-mountaire-allen-harim-tyson-chicken-dpi-wicomico-salisbury-marketing/83304298/
MDA Releases Impact of the 2016 Legislative Session on Maryland Agriculture. Throughout the 90-day session as the Maryland General Assembly gathered in Annapolis we focused on educating legislators about Maryland’s number one industry and a number of bills that would have had a direct negative impact on the agriculture industry and the operational and fiscal functions of the department. To read the full story go here: http://news.maryland.gov/mda/mda-blog/2016/04/21/impact-of-the-2016-legislative-session-on-maryland-agriculture/
How Forgiving Student Loans Helps Farmers. U.S. Representatives Chris Gibson, a republican from New York and Joe Courtney, a democrat from Connecticut, introduced the Young Farmer Success Act in Congress last June. The bill would add farming to a list of careers that receive student-loan relief through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Under the program, participants would have the balance of their student loans forgiven after working full-time on a farm for 10 years while making income-driven payments towards their loans. There would be no age limit to take advantage of the program, but eligible farmers would need to work on a farm or ranch that brings in annual gross revenue of $35,000 (adjusted annually for inflation) or more. To read the full story click here: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/how-forgiving-student-loans-helps-farmers/479607/?utm_source=SFTwitter
WOTUS Case To Be Heard By Three Judge Panel. There will be no hearing of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on the waters of the United States rule as a result of an order issued Thursday by the court in Cincinnati. Instead of the entire 23-judge court reviewing the case, the illegal future of the rule will remain in the hands of a three-judge panel. Ag groups, states and others that had sued over the Clean Water Act rule were pushing for an "en banc" hearing, meaning they essentially wanted all 23 judges of the Sixth Circuit Court to rehear the arguments on jurisdiction. Here is the link to the full story: https://pre-www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/article/2016/04/22/wotus-remain-sixth-circuit?referrer=twitter#.Vx4GqJ3rMrs.twitter&DCMP=Todd
USDA Declines to Pay for Crops or Cows. USDA declined to pay for pesticide damage caused to Idaho farmers crops and cattle and have told the families will have to file a lawsuit. The conflict stems from USDA’s efforts to control an outbreak of Potato Cyst Nematode with use of methyl bromide on infected fields. USDA stopped the treatments in 2014 over concerns the pesticide was damaging cattle and causing spontaneous aborted calves. The families claim the cattle were injured as a result of eating hay from fields treated with methyl bromide. To read more about this story, see http://nyti.ms/1XRWB2I.
Cash Rent Prices Dip 7 Percent in the Midwest. Last week, Creighton University released its Rural Mainstreet Index for April 2016. The index showed a downturn in many areas of the farm economy in a 10-state region in the Midwest. The index found that cash rent prices in the region had fallen 7 percent from April, 2015. Cash rents averaged $211/acre in that region. Although the 10 state region does not include Maryland, it is useful to see how producers in other states are handling the economic downturn in the agricultural economy. To read more on the index, see http://bit.ly/1rumETF.
Extension Programs Help Keep Producers in Agriculture. The Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Journal will be publishing an article highlighting the impact University Extension programs have in keeping producers on the fields. According to research conducted by Stephan Goetz (Penn State University) and Meri Davlasherdize (Texas A&M - Galveston) over the past 25 years Extension programs have helped to keep an estimated 137,000 producers on the farm. To read a press release on the article, see http://bit.ly/240J143. The full article is available at (subscription maybe required) http://bit.ly/1T300Yf.