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Weekly News Update: April 22nd Edition

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

By Sarah Everhart

Grassy field in front of farm (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Delaware Peach Crop In Peril After Killer Frost. If you happen to find a Delaware-picked peach late this summer, treasure every bite. An early April frost at just the wrong time ravaged peach tree groves around the state, and farmers are just now seeing how many of their blossoms will go to waste. “Orchards with peaches are reporting 40 percent to 50 percent damage,” said Ed Kee, secretary of the Department of Agriculture. “There will certainly be fewer Delaware-grown peaches in farmers markets and other venues. There’s definitely going to be significantly fewer peaches appearing from Delaware this year.” To read the full article go here:

Md. Dept. of Agriculture Announces New Specialty Crop Grant Program. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced a competitive grant program to fund projects designed solely to enhance the competitiveness of local specialty crops. The department will administer $325,000 in reimbursement grants to projects focusing on food safety, market enhancement and pest management. The minimum amount of funding per project is $15,000. To learn more click here:

Bay Pollution Rates Dropping. This week the Chesapeake Bay Program released pollution rates into the Bay from 2009 to 2015. According to the figures released, phosphorus rates dropped by 20 percent, nitrogen by 8 percent, and sediment by 7 percent. Agriculture pollution decreased by 5 percent in the region over the period and Maryland experienced a 9 percent decrease in agriculture pollution. To read more about the findings, click here

WOTUS Ruling Months Away. A ruling in the Waters of the U.S. rule’s enforcement and constitutionality appears to be several months off to more than a year away according to legal experts. The experts noted the noted issues involving jurisdiction (which court is the proper court to hear the challenges) and confusion over the language of the rule. The full story is available on and can be found at

Iowa Counties Prepare Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit. Last year, Des Moines Water Works brought a federal lawsuit against three Iowa counties and drainage districts claiming that excessive runoff from neighboring farmland was causing pollution and increased costs in providing Des Moines with drinking water. has an article up focused on the impact the lawsuit could potentially have on agriculture in Iowa and some of the proactive practices farmers have been implementing to reduce nutrient runoff into Des Moines water supplies. To view the story, see

New Videos Available on CSA, Farm Brewery. ALEI has created new videos on the Maryland farm brewery law and a state-wide CSA survey. You can find them both on ALEI’s Vimeo’s page at: 

Reminder Sales Closing Date Fast Approaching for Nursery Crops. Nursery growers need to be in contact with their crop insurance agents to discuss coverage options before the sales closing date on May 1. To learn more about the sales closing date and how to find a crop insurance agent, please see To learn more about crop insurance options for nursery growers, please see 

Registration Opens on 5/9 for Chesapeake College’s New Ag Degree Program. For more information go here:

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