The following are a list of interesting current events in agricultural news, enjoy the update!
Hogan gives his ‘back on track’ blueprint– Gov. Larry Hogan in his State of the State Address on Wednesday, Feb. 4, laid out his legislative agenda and administration’s priorities -plans for various tax cuts, repeals and Chesapeake Bay restoration. Hogan said his administration will work with the agricultural and environmental communities to find fair and balanced solutions for limiting phosphorus. Another piece of legislation Hogan said he will submit is to repeal the so-called “rain tax,” which came from state legislation that places a tax on real estate owners of certain urban counties to help those counties pay for stormwater management upgrades. http://www.stardem.com/news/general_assembly/article_cc114368-bd64-5b26-85ea-b786c68d9759.html
County’s proposed pesticide ban draws questions and concerns– County Council President George Leventhal’s proposed ban on “non-essential” pesticides except for use on some weeds, invasive species, agriculture, gardens and golf courses has brought about questions and concerns in Montgomery County. More about the debate and the proposed ban can be found at http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1537:county-s-proposed-pesticide-ban-draws-questions-and-concerns&Itemid=766
EPA withdraws portion of WOTUS from Clean Water Act– Last spring the EPA proposed an expanded definition of what constitutes a water of the U.S., and also included an interpretive rule that went into effect immediately detailing agricultural exemptions to the Clean Water Act permitting requirements and pertained to Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) approved practices. The rule said farmers are only exempt from needing Clean Water Act permits for more than 50 routine farming practices if they comply with detailed NRCS technical conservation standards. In a memo from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Army, the agencies formally withdrew the interpretive rule and also withdrew the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the EPA, Army Corp and U.S. Department of Agriculture.http://feedstuffs.com/story-epa-withdraws-portion-wotus-45-123552
Cafeteria trays now feature local foods-There are more than 2 million acres of farmland and 12,000 farmers in Maryland, according to the Department of Agriculture website, and Maryland is the first state to have every public school system participating in the Homegrown School Lunch, an element of the program that provides a full week of locally sourced lunches. http://www.cecildaily.com/news/state_news/article_2d6e4908-a555-5c49-9c4f-edba9c198338.html