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News Roundup: January 8th Edition

Updated: Jul 24

By Mayhah Suri

Green field with sun glares (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Proposals for Manure Management Technologies Requested The Maryland Department of Agriculture has issued a grant solicitation for demonstration projects from vendors, businesses, and individuals offering technologies, equipment, infrastructure, or services that can improve the management and utilization of manure and other nutrient-rich, on-farm generated waste products. There is $2.5 million available to invest in innovative technologies during State Fiscal Year 2016, which ends June 30, 2016. Approximately $1 million of this amount will be directed at projects with a renewable energy component. There is no maximum or minimum request. Vendors, businesses, and individuals are invited to respond to this grant solicitation which may be downloaded from MDA’s website at http://www.mda.maryland.gov. Proposals should be submitted by 4 p.m. local time on March 15, 2016. For more information click here: http://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/counties/2016%20AWTF%20Grant_Solicitation%20FINAL.pdf


Section 179 Now Permanent With the passage of the tax extender bill, Section 179 is now permanent law at the $500,000 level and will increase by inflation starting in 2016 (at $10,000 increments). Section 179 allows for equipment purchases up to $2 million then you can deduct from your gross revenue the full purchase price of the equipment up to $2.5 million. For more information on this see http://www.agweb.com/article/say-hello-to-a-permanent-500000-section-179-naa-ben-potter/


Positions Open on Maryland Ag Boards The Maryland Agricultural Commission is seeking nominations to fill eleven positions. The Commission serves as an advisory body to the Secretary of Agriculture which represents all major commodities in the state. As a group, Commission members address legislative and policy issues that affect Maryland agribusiness. For more information go here: http://news.maryland.gov/mda/press-release/2015/12/18/maryland-agricultural-commission-seeks-nominations-4/ Additionally, the Maryland Young Farmer Advisory Board is seeking nominations to fill three vacancies. The Board represents the state’s young farmers and serves as an advisory body to the Maryland Agricultural Commission and Secretary of Agriculture. As a group, the board members address legislative and policy issues that affect Maryland Young Farmers. For more information go here: http://news.maryland.gov/mda/press-release/2015/12/18/maryland-young-farmer-advisory-board-seeks-nominations-2/#.VnQjL4bYqzg.twitter


EPA Broke the Law by Publishing The “WOTUS” Rule on Social Media The EPA engaged in “covert propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded. To read the full story visit http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/us/politics/epa-broke-the-law-by-using-social-media-to-push-water-rule-auditor-finds.html?_r=2


EPA Releases Preliminary Results of Neonicotinoid Trials, Finds Pesticide May Harm Honeybees The preliminary assessment, which has not yet been peer reviewed, is the first of four assessments of different classes of neonicotinoid to be released by the EPA this year. EPA researchers found that imidacloprid, a common neonicotinoid, can cause hive populations to fall. The EPA found in some cases the chemical didn’t harm bees or their hives but in other cases it posed a significant risk. It mostly depended on the crop, a nuanced answer that neither clears the way for an outright ban nor is a blanket go-ahead for continued use. Both the pesticide maker and anti-pesticide advocates were unhappy with report. For more information, please visit http://www.agweb.com/article/epa-says-neonicotinoids-harm-bees-in-some-cases-naa-associated-press/ and http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/06/honeybee-populations-decline-pesticides-united-states-epa-study-imidacloprid


USDA Ends COOL Enforcement with President’s Signature on Omnibus Bill Effective immediately, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, USDA will no longer enforce the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork products because COOL was repealed by Congress. Vilsack said labeling regulations on the books will be amended “as expeditiously as possible” to bring the beef and pork provisions into line. It means an end to the January 2009 and May 2013 country of origin labeling requirements on muscle cuts of beef and pork, and on ground beef and pork. For the full story visit http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/12/usda-ends-cool-enforcement-with-presidents-signature-on-omnibus-bill/#.Vnf8DIQbv8E


#EPA #marylandagriculturecommission #WOTUSRule #taxlaw #weeklynews #COOLregulations #newsupdate #neonicotinoid #manuremanagement

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