Grain News & Updat es
Maryland State Fair Wrap-Up
The Maryland Grain Producers Association and Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board were both well represented at during the 11 Best Days of Summer at the Maryland State Fair. MGPUB returned to the fair this year with their ethanol sponsored remote-control car racetrack and helped coordinate the My Maryland Farmers display in the newly renamed Science and Innovation Center. Fairgoers enjoyed learning about more about both Maryland farmers and the benefits of ethanol.

MGPA hosted sponsored a legislative breakfast and tour of the fair on Governor’s Day, attended by representatives ranging from state, county and city districts. The tour included a stop at the MGPUB ethanol display, where legislators took a test lap on the racetrack. Representatives from the agricultural community joined Governor Hogan for a luncheon later on in the day. Executive Director Lindsay Thompson had the opportunity to speak to Hogan afterwards about one of her favorite fair foods, a pork sundae! 
Electronic Logging Device Mandate
The 2012 highway bill, MAP-21, included a mandate for the installation and usage of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) on all freight trucks to be implemented no later than two years after the final rules for such a mandate were issued. This was an effort to help modernize America’s freight truck network and help truckers comply with the Hours of Service (HOS) and other regulations. The current mandate is set to take effect on December 18, 2017.
As companies and individuals alike have been working towards complying with this new rule, the small and independent truckers feel that they need more time and that they will be disproportionally affected by the cost of compliance with the new rule. Congressman Babin of Texas has introduced legislation to delay the implementation for two years and there is also an effort being pushed through the House appropriations process to prevent funding from being used to implement/enforce the ELD mandate. The National Corn Growers Association has signed onto an industry letter of support of the amendment to Representatives Babin, Smucker and LaMalfa. 
USDA Small Grains Survey
Producers growing wheat, oats, barley or rye should be sure to complete the USDA's small grains surveys this month. The results of the surveys (Agricultural Survey – September and the County Agricultural Production Survey) help determine elements of farm payment and risk management programs. The Agricultural Survey also asks for grain stocks information .

While both surveys are mailed, producers have the option to respond using the secure online questionnaire or return it by mail. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. Survey results will be published in several reports, including the annual Small Grains Summary and Grain Stocks on September 29 as well as County Estimates on December 14.  

MD Route 404 Closures
Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) did a major traffic shift on 404 recently that resulted in the unexpected closure of two 404 intersections - Thawley Road and the eastern leg of Saathoff Road. The closures are absolutely necessary for safety reasons - visibility has been greatly reduced for drivers sitting at the stop. The full closures will be in effect until the new 404 dual highway debuts in mid-November. The SHA is asking farmers to plan ahead this harvest season and become familiar with alternate routes. Since these closures are on the south side of 404, anyone in that area using 404 for hauls into Ridgely or Wye Mills will have to pick an alternate route. For more information, contact Danielle Bauer,
Economic Soil Health Benefits
Soil health practices such as cover crops and no-till can result in an economic return of over $100 per acre, according to a set of case studies jointly released by the National Association of Conservation Districts and Datu Research, LLC. During the three-year study period, corn-soybean farmers experimented with cover crops and/or no-till, and quantified the year-by-year changes in income they attributed to these practices compared to a pre-adoption baseline.

They found that while planting costs increased by up to $38 per acre, fertilizer costs decreased by up to $50 per acre, erosion repair costs decreased by up to $16 per acre, and yields increased by up to $76 per acre. The studies also found that with adoption of these conservation practices, net farm income increased by up to $110 per acre. Included in the farmers’ calculations was the considerable time they spent attending workshops or searching the internet to learn about no-till or cover crop practices. 

Online Harvest Forms for Corn Yield Contest Now Available
With harvest beginning across the country, the National Corn Growers Association announces that online harvest forms for the 2017 National Corn Yield Contest are now available. While the harvest information form deadline may seem distant, entrants are asked to report within two weeks of their final yield check or by Nov. 17, whichever comes first.

NCGA moved to a solely online harvest entry documentation platform in 2015. To complete the form, entrants will upload weigh tickets and yield calculations worksheet that details the number of rows harvested and length of each pass. Prior to upload, both documents must be signed by the contest supervisor. This year a tutorial video is available online.