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Weekly Roundup April 13th

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

By Sarah Fielder

Clusters of grapes hanging from a tree branch are show in this image taken by Edwin Remsberg.

State Estate Tax Exemption Set at $5 Million As the recent session of the Maryland General Assembly comes to an end this week, one of the bills passed that will become law without the Governor’s signature is legislation to end Maryland’s recoupling with the federal estate tax exemption. Maryland was scheduled to recouple in 2019 with the federal exemption, but Congress recently doubled the estate tax exemption. Based on the recent legislation, Maryland’s estate tax exemption will stay at $5 million per individual. The recent legislation will allow for portability of any unused portion of the estate tax, a feature that had missing in Maryland law. To read more about this, click here

Farmers Angry Over Potential Trade War Farmers are not happy with potential tariffs that could be placed on agricultural commodities by China in retaliation for tariffs on Chinese products announced by the Trump administration. Trump has tried to reassure farmers that the potential tariffs will not impact them, even calling for potential direct payments to impacted farmers. The N.Y. Times talks with farmers who are not happy over the potential tariffs or potential direct payments, to read the story click here

Peterson Uncertain Farm Bill Will Get Done in Time Ranking Member of the House Ag Committee is uncertain the new farm bill can be done by September 30th. Recent negotiations have broken down because of proposed changes to the SNAP program by the Republicans. You can see Peterson’s interview in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, click here

Maryland Dairy Sues FDA For Violating First Amendment Rights South Mountain Creamery filed a lawsuit this week claiming that labeling laws violate the dairy’s First Amendment rights. South Mountain wants to sell pasteurized skim milk in Pennsylvania, but FDA is requiring that the dairy include on the label “imitation skim milk” or “imitation milk product” because the milk does not include vitamins that the FDA requires to be labeled skim milk. To read more about the lawsuit, click here

USDA Does Not Plan To Regulate CRISPR The USDA issued a press release on March 29 stating that they do not plan to regulate gene editing technologies that could lead to new plant development in agriculture. This includes CRISPR technology. USDA does plan to regulate developments involving plant pests or using plant pests. Read their full statement at

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