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Weekly News Update, April 17th Edition

Updated: Jul 9


By Ashley Ellixson

Man milking cows (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Happy Friday everyone! The following is a list of news and updates in the agricultural realm this week for your reading pleasure. Enjoy your weekend!


Revisionary Stormwater Bill (SB 863) Passed. Initially presented as the fulfillment of a campaign promise by Governor Hogan to repeal the state’s so-called “rain tax,” in the end this legislation was supported by the Clean Water, Healthy Families coalition, which includes the following environmental groups: Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Blue Water Baltimore, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Sierra Club’s Maryland chapter. SB 863 was originally filed as a repeal of the rain tax, and it does eliminate the mandate for jurisdictions to collect a specific fee under certain conditions by changing the word “will” to “may.” But elsewhere, it changes the word “may” to “will” to require each jurisdiction to establish a fund to pay for efforts to reach the goal, and it changes reporting requirements to increase accountability. It also imposes stiff fines for failing to meet funding requirements. To read the full article click here:


Chesapeake Bay Water Clean-Up Regs Could Flood Midwest Farms: Illinois Soybean Association members toured Maryland and Delaware. The take home was that U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay [water cleanup] model may be headed into the Midwest and could potentially impact all farmland, not just concentrated animal feeding operations. Read more about what they learned at: http://farmprogress.com/story-chesapeake-bay-regs-flood-midwest-farms-8-126108


Leasing Webinar Scheduled: A series of leasing webinars covering landlord-tenant communication, mediation, tools available, setting a rental rate, and leasing laws will be held on May 4 and May 11 from 7pm to 8:30. The webinars are being offered by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the Ag Law Education Initiative, Maryland Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland Extension, and Maryland Farmlink. To get more details on the webinars and register, please see:https://arecleasingwebinar.eventbrite.com. For more on ag leasing issues in Maryland, please see the University of Maryland Extension’s webpage dedicated to leasing issues at:http://bit.ly/UMELeasing.


CSA Webinars Now Available Online: Recordings of the recent CSA webinars are now available online. The webinars cover CSA contracts, labor issues, and crop insurance issues. The recordings along with other CSA related materials can be found at:http://bit.ly/MDCSAMaterials.


Cows on a field (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Farmers Market CSA App: Need help finding a farmers market in Maryland? There will soon be an app for that through the Maryland Department of Agriculture. To learn more about the app, please see http://bit.ly/1DmX8AB.


Website Feedback: The Ag Law Education Initiative is looking for feedback on our websitewww.umaglaw.org. Please check the site out and take a moment to tell us what we can include on that site athttp://bit.ly/umaglawsurvey.


New Publication Available: Do not forget that there is a new publication on the legal liability issues with seed saving available on our website. The publication will be good for those producers attempting to save seed later this year at harvest time (good to brush up now). The publication is available at ter.ps/seedsaving. A new one on developing an on-farm brewery and cidery will be available next week.


#theweekinagnews #weeklyreview

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