By Sarah Fielder
Budget Deal Includes Fix for Cotton and Dairy Early last Friday morning, Congress passed a budget deal that included a fix for the cotton programs and dairy programs. With dairy, the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) would now be calculated on a monthly basis rather than a bimonthly basis, premiums would be changed for medium and small dairy farms on $4.50 and $5 coverage levels, and includes other fixes to MPP that dairy producers had asked for. The bill also removed the $20 million cap on the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) program, this would open this crop insurance program up to more dairy producers. To learn more about the fixes, click here http://bit.ly/2socB7H and click here http://bit.ly/2slYYpm.
Choices Article Highlights the Concerns in Rural America Over Health Care A recent Choices article highlights the concerns in rural America over health care. The article discusses the great lengths that producers have gone to pull together insurance coverage. To read the article, click here http://bit.ly/2sxF5ft.
Trump Budget Includes Changes to SNAP This week the Trump administration proposed budget proposed saving billions by providing SNAP recipients with a monthly shipment of nonperishable foods picked by the government, including canned goods, shelf stable milk, juices, and many other products. This proposed plan, called America’s Harvest Box, is not without critics. To learn more about the proposed changes, click here http://politi.co/2stcYOi.
Crop Insurance Deadline is Approaching This is a reminder for Delmarva producers that the spring planted crops sales closing date for crop insurance is on March 15. Coverage for corn, cucumbers, forage seeding, fresh market sweet corn, fresh market tomatoes, grain sorghum, processing beans, processing sweet corn, processing tomatoes, soybeans, spring oats, and tobacco is available in select counties in Maryland. Producers should contact their crop insurance agent before the sales closing date to change coverage levels or buy coverage for the first time. To find a crop insurance agent see, https://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/. To learn more about crop insurance, check out the University of Maryland’s crop insurance outreach page, http://go.umd.edu/CropIns.
Register Now for the Agritourism Food Safety and Recall Readiness Webinar Running a farm with agritourism components has individualized food safety risks that need to be understood and addressed. This webinar will provide information for identifying and addressing risks associated with this type of operation and give simple solutions for how risks can be prevented. In addition, on-farm recall planning and the role of regulatory agencies in a food safety emergency will be explained. This webinar series is supported by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE is a program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Register here: http://bit.ly/2GtoHiG.
Bipartisan Group Introduces FARM Act to Exempt Livestock Operations from Emissions Reporting A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would exempt livestock operations from reporting ammonia emissions under CERCLA. Last year, a federal court of appeals ruled that EPA did not have the authority in the law to create an exemption for livestock operations. To learn more about the legislation and who is sponsoring click here http://bit.ly/2oa0LZl. To review the legislation, click here http://bit.ly/2o7l3CR.
Another Right-to-Farm Challenge Before the State’s Supreme Court Neighbors of a large CAFO in Iowa are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s right-to-farm law as applied to protect the CAFO from nuisance liability. This is not the first constitutionality challenge seen in Iowa and Iowa court’s have found the state’s right-to-farm law unconstitutional as applied to certain situations, typically for neighbors who lived in the area before the CAFO was built. In this case, the neighbors challenging the right-to-farm law all lived in the area before the CAFO was built. To learn more about the lawsuit, click here http://dmreg.co/2o67H9O.
Is ARC-CO Providing a Safety Net? A recent article by Plastina and Hart in AAEA’s Choices exams if the Agricultural Risk Coverage program is providing an effective safety net using Iowa as an example. The article highlights the uncertainty in program payments that many producers around the country have seen as a concern during periods of low prices. To read the article, click here http://bit.ly/2o68ZBG.
Settlement Reached in Medical Marijuana Lawsuit in MD The state’s Medical Cannabis Commission has settled a lawsuit with Alternative Medicine Maryland claiming that the state had failed to take into account racial or ethnic diversity in awarding the first 15 licenses to grow medical cannabis in the state. The settlement is confidential but the group has sought to dismiss the case that was pending in Baltimore City Circuit Court. To read more about the settlement, click here http://bit.ly/2o2QBKS (subscription required).