Weekly Roundup Sept. 8th
Updated: Jul 10
By Sarah Fielder
Maryland Beekeepers Fight to Keep Honeybee Colonies Alive The honeybee population in the U.S. is stable, but a recent study conducted by the University of Maryland showed that beekeepers continue to lose a high percentage of bees each year. To read the full article, click here: http://bit.ly/2wHI8jt.
Maryland’s Fall Mazes Cut Paths Toward Fun and Profit More than 33,000 of America’s 2.2 million farms engage in agritourism, generating $704 million in revenue annually, according to the most recent estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About 300 of Maryland’s approximately 12,000 farms generate $7.2 million. To read the full story, go here: http://bsun.md/2w2FUt3.
Maryland Agriculture Secretary Urges Farmers to Participate in USDA National Agricultural Statistics Survey Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder is urging farmers across the state to participate in upcoming agricultural surveys by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS will be conducting its small grain production survey in early September. The agency is using this survey to assess the 2017 production and supply of small grains, which include, wheat, oats, barley, and rye. To read the full press release, click here: http://bit.ly/2f3KYYp.
USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grant Availability The Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. To read more about the VAPG program, go here: http://bit.ly/2q0lWw8.
Farm Service Agency Provides Dairy Producers with an MPP Opt Out Dairy producers who signed up for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) can now opt out of the program. FSA announced last week that this year producers already in MPP can simply not register this year to opt-out of the program. MPP has struggled as a dairy safety net tool since its was created in the 2014 Farm Bill. To learn more about this opt out see, http://bit.ly/2j1r5pi. At the same time, signup is currently ongoing for those considering signing up for the MPP program, for more information contact your county FSA office.
Reminder Crop Insurance Deadline for Small Grains Reminder to fall seeded small grain producers in Maryland that the sales closing date or changing coverage options for crop insurance coverage is Sept. 30th. For more information on crop insurance, see AREC’s Crop Insurance page at http://go.umd.edu/CropIns. For more information on the sales closing date, see http://bit.ly/2x9DsGg.
Reminder Sales Closing Date for Coverage on Forage Crops Reminder that the sales closing date for crop insurance coverage on forage production is Sept. 30th. Coverage is available in Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties. To learn more about this sales closing date, see http://bit.ly/2wDYmf6.
Overtime Rule For Salaried Employees Struck Down Last week, a federal judge struck down an overtime rule from the Obama administration. According to the federal judge, the rule focused too much on salary level and not job descriptions. As it stands now, overtime is only allowed in cases when an employee is paid $23,660. Related to this case, the Trump administration announced they would not appeal the decision. To learn more about the ruling and the decision not to appeal, click here http://bit.ly/2eDvQ3k for the Hill’s overview and for a case history and impact, see http://bit.ly/2eJm1o2.
EPA Considering Setting Deadline On Dicamba Spraying for 2018 After 2 years of crop damage, EPA is considering setting a deadline to use dicamba by for 2018. This comes after states in the South and Midwest have experienced an increased number of dicamba drift complaints. The potential deadline would be set to protect crops vulnerable to dicamba. To see more about the proposed EPA ban on dicamba, see here http://reut.rs/2eHGupU.
Dicamba Studies Show Similar Results University weed scientists around the South and Midwest have been testing dicamba formulas to learn from the recent drift complaints. Many of the tests are showing the new formulas might still be volatile and drift. Tests conducted at both the University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas show that new dicamba formulas might still be volatile and drift. To read more about these studies, see here http://bit.ly/2wJPjaE.
Lack of Regulations on Private Wells Present Possible Human Health Concerns Private wells are not regulated under drinking water regulations in the U.S. Despite common beliefs that groundwater is less contaminated than other sources of water, such as surface water, there is little data on well water quality and in fact research has shown an increase in contaminants in well water. In 2009 the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment Program found that 23% of sampled private wells were contaminated with substances including arsenic, uranium, nitrate, and human or animal waste. An article exploring possible contamination sources of private wells with a focus on Florida can be found here: https://go.umd.edu/pc8. The USGS 2009 private well survey can be found here: https://go.umd.edu/pc6.