By Mayhah Suri
Cage Free Eggs May Not Equal Better Environment for Hens or Workers Pressure from animal rights activists has led many of the biggest food companies in the country to commit to what are being described as more humane alternatives. In recent months, Walmart, Costco, McDonald’s and others have pledged to transition to buying only cage-free eggs in the years to come. That is music to the ears of the people who have campaigned against conventional battery cages. Yet while industrial cage-free systems may improve the quality of life for some hens, research suggests that they can also introduce health and environmental problems. For the full story visit http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/business/eggs-that-clear-the-cages-but-maybe-not-the-conscience.html?_r=1
Communication Key During Times of Financial Stress In this tough economic times for dairies and crop producers, it is important to remember to keep open lines of communication going with family members, employees, and other stakeholders. Not keeping those involved in the operation aware of what is going on can create tensions and make a stressful situation even more stressful. Check out the story on Dairy Herd Management from the Ohio State University, http://bit.ly/29VF5Ma.
Reminder Signup Deadline Approaching for MPP Farm Service Agency (FSA) is reminding dairy producers that enrollment will close for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) on Sept. 30th. The program requires a minimum $100 application fee and FSA has a web tool available at http://1.usa.gov/1vnXLVc to help producers determine the level of coverage right for their operation. One new addition to the program this year is intergenerational transfers, any producer already participating in the program who added in a spouse, adult child, or grandchild to the operation in 2014, 2015 or the first 6 months of 2016 can increase production history to reflect cows brought into the operation by the new generation. To learn more about MPP, see http://bit.ly/2abOY6v.
Reminder Sales Closing Date For Fall-Seeded Forage Crops is July 31 Reminder to all fall-seeded forage crop producers that July 31 is the final day to apply for crop insurance coverage. See this press release from USDA, to determine final planting dates and links to help you find a crop insurance agent in your area, http://bit.ly/2a089kz.
Registration Open for 2016 Crop Insurance Workshop Registration is now online for the 2016 Crop Insurance Workshop on Sept. 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Annapolis. The workshop will feature speakers from USDA and private industry discussing changes and challenges with the crop insurance industry and what the issues the next farm bill poses for the industry. The workshop is free and you can register at http://go.umd.edu/MdCropInsWorkshop
Miss the Dairy Risk Management Workshops? If you missed the just concluded Dairy Risk Management Workshops, you are in luck. The materials are available on the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Crop Insurance page. You can find all the materials at http://go.umd.edu/MDACropIns.
Navigating the Local Foods Marketplace- Panel Discussion and Reception- July 27, 5-8 pm Come and listen to a dynamic panel discussion on the challenges and successes of buying and selling locally sourced foods in Maryland. We will start the evening with a light reception of locally sourced foods and drinks to allow for networking of buyers and sellers (5:00-6:00 p.m.). Followed by our panel discussion which will include speakers- Jordan Lloyd-Chef Bartlett Pear Inn, Ed Bush- Teddy Bear Fresh Food Supplier, Beth Brewster-Supervisor of Food Services Caroline County Public Schools, Kristen Langenfelder-Langenfelder Pork, Tim Devine-Barren Island Oysters, Judy Crow- Crow Vineyards and Kelly Jackson- Emily’s Produce. The event is free of charge but registration is required: www.umaglaw.org/LocalFoodPanel2016