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Weekly News Update: August 14

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Wood barn (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Happy Friday everyone, it has been a productive week with us traveling all over the state it feels like, but here are some of the items we saw this week.

Upcoming Events – Signup today for the 2015 Crop Insurance Workshop sponsored by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Maryland Department of Agriculture, and USDA-Risk Management Agency. We have lined up speakers from RMA, MDA, NASS, and other areas. The workshop will be Sept. 10th at the DoubleTree in Annapolis and is free to attend. Signup is available at

Miss a Webinar or a Video? – Miss any of the Ag Law Education Initiative’s recent webinars? You can find those at Miss an ALEI Video? One was just added on Adverse Possession at

Crop Insurance Videos – Got thoughts on videos Howard and Paul should develop in the crop insurance program? Tweet them your thoughts to @MdCropIns or email Paul at

New Publication Available – Howard Leathers has pulled together a Primer on Crop Insurance to help those who have never bought crop insurance better understand the program. You can find the publication at You can see more crop insurance publications at

Close up of a cow (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Clearing Vegetation Around Crops Doesn’t Help Reduce Pathogens on Produce-The effort to improve food safety by clearing wild vegetation surrounding crops is not helping and, in some cases, may even backfire, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley. The findings, reported Monday, Aug. 10, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, call into question the effectiveness of removing non-crop vegetation as a way to reduce field contamination of fresh produce by disease-causing pathogens. This practice led to extensive loss of habitat in a region that is globally important for food production and natural resources. To read the full story visit

Marking Group Ordered to Pay $50 Million to Settle Milk Price Lawsuit. Dairy Farmers of America, a national dairy marketing cooperative has agreed to pay a total of $50 million to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers in an amended settlement of a long-running lawsuit accusing the group of trying to drive down milk prices, but some farmers are still opposed to the deal. Under the proposal filed Wednesday, Dairy Farmers of America would pay an average of $4,000 to about 9,000 farmers. The settlement must be approved by a judge, who rejected a previous proposed deal in March.The 2009 class-action lawsuit charged Dairy Farmers of America, its marketing arm, Dairy Marketing Services, and Dallas-based dairy processor Dean Foods with working together to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast. To read the full story click here:

Field of crops (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Soldiers Turn Farmers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts between 10 percent and 20 percent of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gardening can provide veterans with mental satisfaction through the care of a growing thing in a tranquil setting, while also performing soothing physical activity — though it doesn’t replace traditional treatment. At 6:00 a.m., crews troop to the horticultural therapy center in Baltimore County to water, stake and trellis by hand, growing bushels of vegetables and some 5,000 flowers a week for sale to restaurants, supermarkets, florists and others. To read the full story click here:

Minnesota Water Quality Standards Upheld – this week the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the state’s pollution control agency’s new water quality standards to reduce algae in the state’s waterways. See more on at The opinion is available here

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