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Weekly News Update: July 1st Edition

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By Mayhah Suri

Large watermelon growing (Edwin Remsberg).

Perdue Announces Animal Welfare Policy Perdue Foods, one of the nation’s largest poultry producers, announced a precedent-setting commitment to improving animal welfare by issuing new requirements for its poultry facilities. Citing the “five freedoms,” a set of ethical imperatives for farmed animal welfare, the 2016 and Beyond: Next Generation of Perdue Commitments to Animal Care outlines the company’s efforts to implement on-farm improvements, such as environmental enrichment and natural light; curb malicious abuse; and eliminate cruel live-shackle slaughter. To read the full story click here:

Walmart’s Effort to Reduce Food Waste Starting next month, all nonperishable products manufactured by Walmart’s private label, Great Value, will have new language to clarify “sell-by” dates in an effort to reduce food waste. Motivated by studies showing that consumer confusion about whether or not food is expired was a main cause of food waste, Walmart standardized the expiration date language to be “best if used by.” Read more about this change and what it may mean here:

Growing Medical Marijuana Could Mean Big Business in Maryland—Here’s Who Wants In The people lining up to profit from Maryland’s legal medical-marijuana market include former sheriffs and state lawmakers, wealthy business executives and well-connected political donors, according to previously undisclosed public records obtained by The Washington Post. Read the full story here:

Maryland Ag Extension Podcast Now Available A new resource has become available this week, the Maryland Ag Extension Podcast has released its episodes. Future episodes will be released weekly covering a variety of topics and if you have suggestions email them to You can find the podcast at or subscribe to it at The podcast is also available in iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Dairy Safety Net Not Working For Producers in the Northeast The 2014 Farm Bill created a new dairy safety net program called Margin Protection Program (MPP) that provides a payment to enrolled producers when the price of milk drops and the national average feed cost falls below a coverage option selected by the producer. For many producers in the Northeast facing lower prices for milk and higher production costs, the program does not work. This was highlighted in an Associated Press story looking at a call to modify the program to look at individual state averages, but many in Congress are against reopening the Farm Bill till it expires. To read about the debate, click here

Save the Date for 2016 Crop Insurance Workshop The 2016 Crop Insurance Workshop will be September 13 at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis. Highlights this year will be a review of Whole-Farm Revenue Insurance Program from a producer, crop insurance agent, and USDA’s perspective, USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, and many more. Be sure to check out for details as they become available.

Registration Open for Dairy Risk Management Meetings Maryland Department of Agriculture and its partners at the University of Maryland Extension will hold three workshops in July to provide dairy farmers with financial risk management information and updates on manure management requirements beginning this winter. Presenters from the University of Maryland, Penn State University, Maryland Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit, Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp. and others are designed to provide critical information. The meetings will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., and lunch is included. For registration information, visit:

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