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Weekly News Update, June 26th Edition

Updated: Jul 17

By Ashley Ellixson

Field with a farm in the distance (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Happy Friday everyone! As we slide into July next week, enjoy reading the last news and updates for the month of June. Have a great weekend!


FSA Announces Open Enrollment – Earlier this week, FSA announced that producers can now formally enroll in either ARC or PLC till Sept. 30, 2015. Earlier in the spring, producers had the opportunity to elect which of the three programs they wanted to participate in over the life of the Farm Bill and now producers can officially enroll in the program they selected. For more details see http://1.usa.gov/1MHMZBC. For more information on the 2014 Farm Bill, check out the AREC Crop Insurance’s Farm Bill page (http://ter.ps/14FarmBill).


FDA Publishes Final Rule on Veterinary Feed Directive – On June 3, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rule for the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). The VFD places the use of antimicrobial drugs in or on the feed of food-producing animals (VFD drugs) under veterinary oversight. The rule is part of a broader effort on the part of the FDA to eliminate antimicrobial drug use in a productive capacity, such as promoting animal growth. For more details see http://www.pennstateaglaw.com/2015/06/fda-publishes-final-rule-on-veterinary.html


FDA Finalizes Decision to Ban Artificial Trans Fat– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use in food. For the full story and more details visit http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/06/fda-finalizes-decision-to-ban-trans-fat/ – .VYF3GOuOv8E


Crops growing on a field (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

On-farm poultry freezer technology now available on Delmarva. The system is simple. Routine mortality is placed inside a specially designed collection unit available for purchase from local agricultural equipment retailers. A customized collection vehicle arrives during layout to empty the units. Poultry growers in other regions of the country have been using on-farm freezer collection units for more than 20 years, and now the practice is positioned for widespread adoption on the Delmarva Peninsula. Federal and state nutrient management agencies in Delaware and Virginia recently designated freezer units as a best management practice that is eligible for cost-share funding. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is currently considering adding freezer units to its cost-share program, so Maryland growers who would like to contact their legislators and sign a petition may go to www.greener-solutions-llc.com. To read the full article click here: http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/on-farm-poultry-freezer-technology-now-available-on-delmarva/1361168


‪Drones help farmers minimize water, fertilizer use. At the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Chris Hartman has been imaging fields from above for nearly a decade. After a hiatus in unmanned vehicle research because of federal regulations, he began experimenting with drones again last year. Hartman, a licensed pilot, can position the eight-propellered drone at a precise point 100 meters above the ground and image an entire field in a matter of minutes. He determines where dry spots are using a thermal camera, which picks up on poorly watered hot patches. Hartman can’t speak to the success of the thermal camera yet, because it’s new, but he can speak to the success of the near-infrared sensor. The image correlates with either the nitrogen status or the chlorophyll content of the crop, which tells him what areas need more fertilizer and which are doing well. The full article is available here: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2015/06/19/precision-agriculture/28981979/


Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Raisin Farmers– The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the government can’t force raisin farmers to give up part of their annual crop for less than it’s worth, a victory for conservative groups that hailed the decision as a win for private property rights. The Court ruled that a 1940s-era program born out of the Great Depression is unconstitutional because it allows federal officials to seize personal property from farmers without fully compensating them, even though the goal is to benefit farmers by stabilizing market prices. For the full story visit http://www.agweb.com/article/supreme-court-rules-for-raisin-farmers-NAA-associated-press/?print=y


Read Paul’s detailed over view of the case on the blog at www.aglaw.umd.edu/blog/horne-v-usda-the-supreme-court-meets-ag-law


Jury Awards $1.8 million In Damages To Farmer Over Land Lease Dispute– After a seven-day trial in Baltimore County Circuit Court, that ended last Friday, a jury found that Stephen Pieper did not breach a lease on 95 acres he farmed in Monkton, part of a 235-acre parcel that Sinclair CEO David Smith bought in March 2013 through Corbett Farms II LLC. At issue was the interpretation of the five-year lease Pieper signed in 2011 with the prior owner. For a more detailed overview visit http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-sinclair-ceo-farmer-lawsuit-verdict-20150611-story.html


#agnews #theweekinagnews #weeklyreview

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