By Sarah Everhart
Hogan Introduces Phosphorus Initiative. On February 23, 2015 Governor Hogan introduced his 2015 Phosphorus Initiative. The Phosphorus Initiative uses the November 2014 PMT proposal as a starting point and makes four changes to the regulations. The proposal shifts the seven-year implementation schedule to one year later, effective 2016, with full implementation in 2022. The Governor has also promised to evaluate key elements that need to be in place, including: markets to relocate additional amounts of manure; adequate infrastructure to handle and transport manure; and alternative uses and new technologies to begin to provide new outlets and markets for animal manures. Upon adoption of the regulations, fields with a soil Fertility Index Value(FIV) of 500 or greater will be banned from receiving additional phosphorus until the PMT is fully implemented, currently scheduled for 2022. The Phosphorus Initiative also includes more research into soil quality and on-farm economics. http://mda.maryland.gov/Pages/PMT.aspx
House Bill Seeks To Repeal Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Farmers. House Bill 928, introduced by Del. Jay Walker and scheduled for a hearing on March 3rd seeks to repeal the sales and use tax exemption that exists in current law for the purchase of inputs for farm operations. If passed the bill would require farmers to pay sales tax on items such as livestock, feed, seed, fuel, equipment, vehicles, etc. The current exemption is in place because farmers like other businesses that build or manufacture a product for consumer consumption, have always been exempt from taxation during the input and production process.
Farmers Rights Act. The Maryland General Assembly is currently considering legislation that could change livestock production contracts are developed in Maryland. We published a current review of the legislation http://www.aglaw.umd.edu/blog/lets-look-at-the-farmers-rights-act. Take a moment to review the law and determine how it could impact your operation if you are utilizing production contracts.
New ALEI Education Videos Now Available. The ALEI website (umaglaw.org) now has a videos page with some helpful legal education videos on topics such as leasing, contracting, regulations and Beware of Dog sign. Check out these valuable resources and keep an eye out for future videos.