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News Roundup: January 22nd Edition

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By Mayhah Suri

To get our minds off of the cold, here’s an image of beautiful Hawai’i taken by Edwin Remsberg

President Vetoes Anti-WOTUS Measure On January 19th, President Obama delivered an expected veto of a congressional resolution that would kill the administration’s “waters of the United States” rule redefining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. “Because this resolution seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny businesses and communities the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water, I cannot support it,” Obama said in his veto message. To read the full story visit For the ALEI “explainer” of this action, check out Sarah’s post:

Avian Flu Confirmed in Indiana The Maryland Department of Agriculture is alerting all poultry owners and growers to double down on all biosecurity practices now that a highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana. For the full story visit

Bioreactors taking a bite out of pollution on Eastern Shore In a bioreactor, pipes funnel water to a pit filled with buried wood chips. The wood chips are a substrate for bacteria that thrive in that environment and convert the nitrate from the fertilizer or manure into nitrogen gas, which dissipates into the atmosphere. By the time the water flows out the other side of the wood chips, the nitrogen content is about 50 percent lower, and in some cases, even lower. Bioreactors help to mimic the natural process that would have occurred on land that is more suited to be a fallow wetland, but has been engineered for agriculture. To read the full story click here:

Agroforestry practices continue to grow in the Chesapeake watershed Agroforestry is a land use in which trees or shrubs are planted in conjunction with crops or pastures, often as a way of growing forests and food together. Forests produce the cleanest water of any land use, which is fueling more adoption of agroforestry practices. In the suburbs of Maryland, Lincoln Smith and Benjamin Friton are growing “a forest garden” on leased land that was part forest and part farm. Now, they’ve integrated the two by weaving shorter, fruit- and nut-producing trees and shrubs into the forest and by adding multiple stories of agriculture on the flat, treeless portions. To read the full story go here:

New Fact Sheet Available on Vet Feed Directive Friend of the blog, Tiffany Dowell at Texas A&M, has recently released a fact sheet covering the requirements with the new Veterinary Feed Directive from the Food and Drug Administration. The directive will take effect on January 1, 2017 will limit the ability of livestock and dairy producers to purchase medicated feed without first getting Vet Feed Directive form from a veterinarian. Tiffany’s publication lays out the new rules to better help livestock producers what they will need to know by Jan. 1, 2017. The new fact sheet is available at Farmdoc Daily has post available on Crop Insurance Premiums for 2016 Gary Schnitkey with Farmdoc Daily published a post this week covering revenue protection insurance premiums and use in 2015 and 2016. Premiums on revenue protection are expected to increase in 2016 and the question is will producers seek lower coverage levels to reduce premiums. To see more of Dr. Schnitkey’s analysis the post is available at

Kick-starting the Future- Oyster Farming Moves into Maryland Waters Oyster aquaculture in Maryland has changed more in the past decade than it has in the past two centuries. Aquaculture, like agriculture, is a form of farming, but farming oysters requires space not on the land but along the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay — and that space, until recently, was hard to come by in Maryland. In 1820, the state legislature passed a law that first allowed a citizen to set up private one-acre farm plots for growing oysters on the Bay’s bottom. To read the full story go here:

Agriculture, Food, and Health Issues to Watch for 2016 As the agriculture and food industries head into the new year, a number of important cases and regulatory issues that have the potential to dramatically affect the industry are front and center. – See more at:

How Farmers Are Becoming More Environmentally Sustainable For many folks, environmental sustainability has become top of mind. Some of the foods that tend to create the larger carbon footprints include animal-based foods such as dairy, fish and beef. However, many farmers work very hard to ensure that they continue taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints and create more sustainable farms to feed those who demand their delicious products. To read the full story go here:

Maryland farmers shatter cover crop planting record Maryland farmers planted a record-setting 492,244 acres of cover crops on their fields last fall as part of the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s 2015-2016 Cover Crop Program, breaking the previous record of 475,560 acres planted last year. For the fully story, please visit:

Schmidt elected president of Md. Grain Producers Board Jennifer Schmidt, a farmer in Sudlersville and former Queen Anne’s County planning commission member, has been elected president of the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board. Maryland Grain is the board that administers check off dollars received for corn, wheat, barley, sorghum, rye and oats.

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