Edition #5: September
 
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Colby Ferguson

Director of Government & Public Relations

Pat Wolff
Senior Director of National Affairs


 
 What's Inside
State Government Relations
Federal Government Relations
Take Action!
Member Benefits






























































  State Government Relations  
  Soil Phosphorus Test Results Due to the Department by September 30  
 

Maryland's Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) regulations require certified nutrient management consultants and farmers who prepare their own nutrient management plans to report field level soil Phosphorus-Fertility Index Value (P-FIV) results to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) by Sept. 30. Instructions for how to report soil phosphorus data will be mailed to business license holders, consultants, and certified farmers in mid-August. More here. 

 

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  Department Issues Request for Grant Proposals for Maryland Farms and Families Program  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting grant proposals for the Maryland Farms and Families Program from qualifying nonprofit organizations. This program aims to double the purchasing power of residents using federal nutrition benefits at farmers markets throughout the state. 

Projects must distribute at least 70% of the awarded grant funding to match purchases made at farmers markets using checks from the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits. More here. 

 

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  ShoreRivers Awarded State Funding for Large Restoration Projects  
 

ShoreRivers is a leader in designing, funding, and managing major agricultural restoration projects to reduce the sediments and nutrients that pollute our waterways. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently awarded ShoreRivers $1.95 million to implement three such projects, all in the Chester River watershed.

Targeting high nutrient-export agricultural subwatersheds in areas prioritized for funding through the DNR Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has proven a winning strategy for making rapid and significant progress toward meeting pollution reduction goals and habitat creation goals. More here. 

 

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  Department Reminds Rural Marylanders to Expect an Increase in Low-Flying Planes Due to Fall Cover Crop Planting  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds citizens in rural areas to expect an increase in low-flying airplanes or helicopters through Oct. 10, 2021, due to aerial seeding for fall cover crop planting. This time of year, farmers enrolled in Maryland's Cover Crop Program are planting wheat, rye, barley, and legume seeds onto their fields to help protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and improve soil health.

"Maryland's Cover Crop Program is one of the most popular agriculture conservation programs in the state and recognized across the nation," said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. "During the fall, farmers participating in the program plant cover crops to ensure runoff from fields does not enter local waterways. People living in rural Maryland should expect to see an increase in low-flying aircraft over the next month while aerial seeding is taking place." More here.

 

 

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  Federal Government Relations  
  Tax Proposals Put Future of American Farms at Risk  
 

The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with 46 state Farm Bureaus and 280 organizations representing family-owned agribusinesses, sent a letter today to congressional leaders urging them to leave important tax policies in place as they draft legislation implementing President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda. The letter addresses four key tax provisions that make it possible for farmers and ranchers to survive and pass their businesses on to the next generation: estate taxes, stepped-up basis, 199A small business deduction and like-kind exchanges. More here. 

 

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  Farm Bureau Raises Concerns about Partisan Reconciliation Package  
 

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall sent a letter to congressional leadership expressing deep concerns about the reconciliation package the House will begin considering this month. AFBF urged lawmakers to avoid tax increases on America's farmers and ranchers and ensure transparency and stakeholder involvement throughout the legislative process. Congress is considering another massive partisan bill through reconciliation, which would be paid for by steep tax hikes on farmers and ranchers. More here.

 

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  AFBF Urges USDA to Address Supply Chain Issues  
 

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack detailing a list of solutions to address critical supply chain issues facing America's farmers and ranchers. AFBF details seven priorities for USDA to consider in response to President Joe Biden's Executive Order on America's Supply Chains. More here.

 

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  USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs for Organic Certification  
 

Organic producers and handlers can now apply for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds to assist with the cost of receiving or maintaining organic certification. Applications for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program(OCCSP) are due Nov. 1, 2021. More here.

 

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  USDA Updates Pandemic Assistance for Livestock, Poultry Contract Producers and Specialty Crop Growers  
 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry and producers of specialty crops and other sales-based commodities. CFAP 2, which assists producers who faced market disruptions in 2020 due to COVID-19, is part of USDA's broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Additionally, USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has set an Oct. 12 deadline for all eligible producers to apply for or modify applications for CFAP 2. More here.  

 

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  EPA Should Keep "Navigable" in New WOTUS Rule  
 

The American Farm Bureau Federation submitted recommendations on the definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS). The comments were filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers. In June 2021, the EPA announced its intent to revise the definition of WOTUS and solicited pre-proposal recommendations. More here. 

 

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  USDA Seeks Applications to Spur Job and Economic Growth in Rural Areas  
 

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced that the department is accepting loan and grant applications for projects that create jobs and economic growth in rural communities. More here. 

 

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  Take Action!  
  Protect Stepped-Up Basis for American Family Farms!  
 

Congress is moving forward with a $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget resolution. 

The spending in the legislation resulting from the reconciliation language in the budget resolution will need to be offset by some combination of federal spending reductions, additional deficit spending and tax increases. The potential tax increases include an increased corporate tax rate, the elimination of stepped-up basis and imposition of capital gains at death. Take action here! 

 

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  Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Maryland Agriculture  
 

Please join the Hughes Center and the Maryland Departments of Agriculture and the Environment for the first of two stakeholder workshops to prepare for the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Maryland Agriculture. 

The workshop agenda includes:

  • Presentations about the 2010 vulnerability assessment. 
  • Recent state climate-related initiatives and information about other states' efforts.
  • The majority of time will focus on your comments and discussions. Register here. 
 

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  Livestock Producer Survey  
 

Just a reminder, it is your LAST CHANCE to complete the livestock producer survey. If you have completed the survey, THANK YOU for participating and allowing your voice to be heard. If you have NOT completed the survey, we are asking you to complete it today!

This grassroots effort by the Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania Farm Bureaus is what Farm Bureau is all about. Livestock processing challenges are a national issue. Regionally, your input on the livestock processing capacity needs is important. Your voice will be heard by taking this survey. Take survey here. 

 

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  Member Benefits  
  John Deere: Spend More Time Outside  
 

John Deere Rewards has everything you need to spend more time outside and with your Farm Bureau membership, you will automatically receive Platinum 1 status. This means instant savings on a wide range of John Deere products, from lawn tractors to skid steers, zero-turn mowers to utility vehicles, and more! More here.

 

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