Jim Perdue and Environmentalist Tom Horton Face Off In Recent Water Quality Columns. On May 15th Jim Perdue wrote a column entitled “Let’s Not Go Back To Pfiesteria Hysteria Days” in response to a recent column written by environmentalist, journalist and author Tom Horton in which Horton explained that the recent PMT regulations are too little too late and that the Maryland regulatory agencies are too protective of the poultry industry. Perdue provides in his column that he felt compelled to respond to Horton because only 8 percent of the water entering the Chesapeake Bay comes from the four major rivers on the Eastern Shore; 81 percent comes from the Susquehanna, Potomac and James rivers. Of agriculture’s phosphorus contributions to the bay, just 5.1 percent comes from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, while Virginia and Pennsylvania contribute 22.5 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively. According to his column, the poultry industry will continue to make progress and welcomes partnering with any group that wants to move forward in improving Chesapeake Bay water quality. Read the full column here: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/05/15/perdue-pfiesteria-chesapeake-bay/27389533/
The World Trade Organization Shoots Down COOL- The WTO has ruled against the U.S. appeal to keep its country of origin labeling rule for imported cuts of beef and pork. Canada and Mexico have long argued that this labeling rule has put their countries’ exports at a disadvantage and leads to an unfair market place. For the full story see: http://thehill.com/regulation/242385-wto-rules-against-us-appeal-to-keep-country-of-origin-labeling-rule
Jobs in Agriculture and Natural Resources Are on the Rise- When many graduates struggle to find employment, qualified candidates for agriculture and related studies positions are falling short. "Purdue University, which conducted the study on a USDA grant, found that about 57,900 high-skilled jobs are opening in this country each year in food, agriculture, natural resources and the environment, but with only 35,400 graduates to fill them.” To read the full article, see: http://www.lancasterfarming.com/news/Field-of-Dreams
Avian Influenza: What You Need to Know, Not Fear- University of Maryland Extension has published a helpful article on the Avian Influenza epidemic. According to the article, More than 33 million birds have been affected by the current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) sweeping across 20 states from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest regions of the country. While cases have not been reported on the East Coast, poultry growers and workers on the Delmarva Peninsula should be aware of how HPAI is transmitted and the necessary measures to prevent it. See more at: https://www.extension.umd.edu/news/avian-influenza-what-you-need-know-not-fear#sthash.Ji6DD3lw.dpuf
Conservation Compliance Deadline Fast Approaching: June 1 is the deadline for producers to file an AD-1026 with Farm Service Agency (FSA) is almost here. Specialty crop producers are probably unware that they need to certify with FSA in order remain eligible for crop insurance premium subsidies or Noninsurance Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) payments. Conservation compliance requires producers to not drain or fill in wetlands on their property to produce a crop or plant crops on highly erodible land unless approved by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. USDA has developed a 5 step guide to help producers determine if he/she needs to self-certify and is available at http://1.usa.gov/1c4pQg0.
Maryland Honeybee Losses Among Highest in U.S. According to an annual survey released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 61 percent of their colonies on average in the past year. Summer bee die-offs in the state and nationwide outstripped winter losses for the first time, surprising scientists involved in the survey. A University of Maryland entomologist who helps coordinate the survey said parasites remain a top suspect in the bee declines but suggested changing farming practices and pesticide use also may be factors, at least nationally. Read the full article here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/green/blog/bs-md-honeybee-decline-20150514-story.html
The Digital Afterlife: WGN News has a good new article up on preparing for the digital afterlife. As producers begin to store more and more production data on the cloud, thoughts on how to manage this data after his/her death will become more important. View the story at http://bit.ly/1djUXG7.
Youtube Channel: Check out the ALEI Youtube channel at http://go.umd.edu/ALEIYoutube. On the channel you will find playlists with all our videos and webinars. Subscribe to the channel and be the first to know when new videos are posted!
Farm Brewery Guide: Do not forget to check out the latest ALEI publication on Farm Breweries at ter.ps/farmbrew.