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Weekly News Roundup: March 18th, 2016

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By Mayhah Suri

Yellow flowers (Edwin Remsberg).

Agriculture Department Releases Preliminary Soil Phosphorus Data On March 14th, the Maryland Department of Agriculture announced that based on statewide soil test information 82 percent of farm fields tested to date will not be impacted by new environmental regulations, which may limit phosphorus application or the use of animal manure as a fertilizer. Eighteen percent of farm fields will require use of the phosphorus management tools to evaluate risk. Only 1 percent of all farm fields are immediately banned from applying phosphorus crop fertilizer. The phosphorous in poultry and dairy manure will impact its use as a crop nutrient in these situations. To read the full story, click here:

Cash-strapped Farmers Struggle to Pay Rents The Des Moines Register this week highlighted a problem not only in Iowa but nationwide. Farmers bid up cash rent prices during good crop years and are now struggling to pay those cash rents as banks tighten lines of credit or won’t extend lines of credit. To read the full story, see

“Pork the Other White Meat” Settlement Talks The Pork Network provides an overview of the ongoing litigation the sale of the “Pork the Other White Meat” trademark between the National Pork Producers Council and the Pork Board. Settlement talks in the litigation are on-going between USDA and the Humane Society of the US. The litigation potentially has broader implications impacting how commodity groups use checkoff dollars in marketing. To see the overview, click here

Right-to-farm lawsuit in Indiana Last week, a judge dismissed a lawsuit against an Indiana hog farmer citing the state’s right-to-farm law. The plaintiffs had argued that the hog farms were operated negligently and inhumanely. In dismissing the case, the judge cited the parties establishing no evidence that the lawsuit was exempt under the state’s right-to-farm law, a law that provides a defense in lawsuits against ag operations involving nuisance claims. To read more about the lawsuit, click here

National Chicken Council Creates Chicken Labeling Glossary Know the difference between farm-raised, pasture-raised and free range chicken? The National Chicken Council answers that question and others in a new “chicken labeling glossary” made available online Tuesday. NCC says it created the glossary after learning from a national survey that 62 percent of consumers find chicken labels confusing. Check it out here:

ALEI Newsletter Available The Ag Law Education Initiative, a partner in this blog, released a Quarterly Newsletter last Friday. Check it out to see what all new resources are available, upcoming events, and what ALEI has been up to in the first quarter of 2016. The newsletter is available at

Business Organizations in Ag Webinar The Mid-Atlantic Women in Ag will host a Wednesday Webinar focused on picking a business organization structure for your farm. The webinar will feature Ashley Ellixson and Paul Goeringer. The webinar is on April 13 and you can learn more about this webinar and other webinars at

Advanced GAP Training, April 8, 2016 The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the University of Maryland (UMD), and University of Maryland Extension (UME) will conduct advanced food safety training for fruit and vegetable growers on April 8, 2016. The course is intended for growers that have already attended a basic GAP training. The topics covered will assist growers in implementing additional requirements for compliance with the FSMA Produce Rule and meet the continuing education requirements required by some certification programs such as Harmonized GAP. Registration must be received by April 6, 2016. To register, contact Carol Reynolds: 410-841 5769, For more information, visit:

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