Grain News & Updates
Maryland Farmers Attend Commodity Classic
A strong delegation of Maryland farmers attended the National Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California last week. We were pleased that these farmers were viewed as leaders of the agricultural community through the event. Chip Bowling of Newburg represented Maryland in National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) meetings, and Eric Spates of Poolesville represented the state in National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) meetings. John Bruning of Snow Hill completed his second learning session of the National Corn Growers Association Leadership at It’s Best training. Drew Haines of Middletown was recognized for placing second in the National Corn Yield Contest. Trey Hill of Rock Hall participated in a panel on the Commodity Classic main stage discussing the use of digital technology on his farm. In total, almost 20 farmers from Maryland were in attendance.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was top of mind to NCGA during the week, especially with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue set to make an appearance. Leaders of NCGA had the chance to meet with Secretary Perdue before he spoke at the general session to express the importance of this legislation to corn markets. Secretary Perdue understood NCGA’s concern and received a standing ovation from farmers around the country when he later announced that he and President Trump stand behind a
strong RFS. 
Action Alert: Don't Mess with the RFS!

Tell President Trump this weekend to uphold his commitment on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The White House could cut a deal with oil refiners in the coming days that would significantly harm the RFS by capping the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). As farmers know, RINs are the market mechanism that drives biofuels blending. A cap on RIN values or RIN waiver credits would disrupt this market mechanism and take away the incentive to blend biofuels.
This proposal would take away 700 million gallons of ethanol demand and cost farmers as much as 25 cents/bushel at a time when farm income is already at its lowest level since 2006.
There are better solutions for both farmers and refinery workers, including RVP parity that would allow year-round sales of blends greater than 10 percent, that reduce RIN values by blending more ethanol. That's a real win-win.

Analysis Shows Health Benefits Associated with GMO Corn
A new meta-analysis of 6,000 studies across two decades that shows genetically-modified corn increases crop yields and provides significant health benefits. The analysis, which was not limited to studies conducted in the US and Canada, showed that GMO corn varieties have increased crop yields worldwide 5.6 to 24.5 percent when compared to non-GMO varieties. They also found that GM corn crops had significantly fewer (up to 36.5 percent less, depending on the species) mycotoxins - toxic chemical byproducts of crop colonization. This analysis confirms that not only do GMOs pose no risk to human health, but also that they actually could have  a substantive positive impact  on it.

Judge Rules in Favor of Ag Coalition’s Request to Halt California’s Prop 65 Labeling of Glyphosate
Citing harm to the nation’s agriculture economy, Judge William Shubb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting California from implementing its “false and misleading” Prop 65 labeling requirement for the herbicide glyphosate. The injunction was sought by more than a dozen leading agriculture groups and supported by eleven attorneys general across the U.S. The preliminary injunction will halt California’s labeling requirement until a final ruling on the matter is issued by the court. “Farmers work tirelessly to put food on America’s tables, and Glyphosate is a vital tool that growers have trusted to provide safe, affordable food,” said Chandler Goule, Chief Executive Officer for the National Association of Wheat Growers, the lead plaintiff in the case. 

MAEF Scholarship Opportunities 
The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation is currently accepting applications for two $1,000 scholarships now through April 15.

Dr. Ronald J. Seibel Scholarship: This $1,000 scholarship, established by the family and friends of Dr. Seibel in recognition of his 26 years of service as Director of the Institute of Applied Agriculture at the University of Maryland, will be awarded to a student enrolled in a Maryland college agricultural program during the school year 2018-2019. Preference will be given to Maryland residents with an FFA background enrolled in the Institute of Applied Agriculture. Other eligible applicants are those attending a community college or four year institution leading to a degree in agriculture education.

MAEF Scholarship: This $1,000 scholarship, awarded by the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation Secondary Education Committee, will be awarded to a Maryland resident who is an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in an agriculture major, with a preference for a student majoring in ag education and/or extension and pursuing careers in Maryland.