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Weekly Roundup March 16th

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

By Sarah Fielder

Image shows a chopped field of hay looking over a farm. Photo by Edwin Remsberg.
Image shows a chopped field of hay looking over a farm. Photo by Edwin Remsberg.

Wildfires Cause Major Damage for Ranchers in Midwest Ranchers in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere are facing major economic losses after devastating wildfires have rolled across several states. An initial estimate puts cattle losses in Texas alone at $2.1 million. Lawmakers in Tennessee and Kansas have introduced legislation to reduce financials burdens, including a sales tax exemption on fencing materials in Kansas. Many organizations have begun collecting and distributing donations to help those affected by the fires. Read more here: https://go.umd.edu/q23

Antibiotics Bill Passes Senate Committee The Maryland Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee passed the Keep Antibiotics Effective bill (http://bit.ly/2nIcOv8) out of committee by a 7 to 4 vote. The bill would prohibit the use of antibiotics in livestock without a prescription or approval from a veterinarian. Proponents of the bill argue that the legislation is necessary to protect humans from superbugs resistant to bacteria. Opponents argue that the legislation is unnecessary and would do nothing to address the issue of superbugs. Read more about the bill here, http://bit.ly/2m4ikfq.

When do Farmers Adopt New Practices? A group of researchers out of the University of Illinois looked at when producers will adopt new agricultural practices. Using multifunctional perennial crops, the researchers found that producers adopt systems that can benefit the environment when higher value and can be harvested for a profit. The study also broke producers down into groups likely to adopt. To learn more about the study, see http://bit.ly/2mMAHCN.

Could Crop Insurance Be Cut? This week a letter was sent to government officials signed by more than 60 ag groups explaining the need to not cut the federal crop insurance program. The letter lays out how the program works and how taxpayer dollars are saved with the program. To read the letter and more about the program, see http://bit.ly/2mSrY3j.