Grain News & Updates
Maryland Farmer Graduates Corn Leadership Program
Corn farmers from across the country, including John Bruning of Snow Hill, traveled to Washington earlier this month to take part in the second phase of the annual leadership development programs co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta. While in town, the group visited numerous congressional leaders and got an inside look at parliamentary procedure and how lobbying works on Capitol Hill.
The Leadership At Its Best class received briefings on the issues facing America’s farmers in the coming year followed by presentations from lobbyist and Hill staffer panels explaining how the lobbying process functions in Washington, D.C. to get the best result from interaction with members of Congress and their staff. They then had the opportunity to see the process in action during a series of visits with congressional leaders. Additionally, the group participated in parliamentary procedure training with NCGA Parliamentarian Chris Dickey.
Grain Growers Featured on Maryland Farm & Harvest Season Finale
Viewers of this season’s final episode of Maryland Farm and Harvest had the opportunity to learn about how local grains are used to make Maryland spirits. Chris Weaver of Hickory Hollow Farm in Finksburg shared how his rye is being used to make Sagamore Spirit whiskey in Baltimore. Dan Dawson of Hollywood then told the story of how his farm’s corn would be harvested to make bourbon at their on-farm distillery. Also featured on the episode were Catcotin Mountain Orchard, who are growing apples for brandy, and Falling Branch Brewery.

Although this season has ended, they are still re-airing episodes on Tuesday nights at 7pm. Episodes are also available The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board has approved funding and is looking forward to Season 7 of MPT’s top television show, which has reached over six million viewers nationwide.

Farmers May Apply Commercial Fertilizer to Small Grains Beginning February 15
The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that farmers who planted small grains for harvest last fall may “top dress” these crops with commercial fertilizer beginning February 15, as long as ground conditions remain favorable and in accordance with their nutrient management plans. As a reminder, manure may not be applied to fields until March 1.

For additional information on Maryland’s nutrient application requirements, contact the department’s Nutrient Management Program at 410-841-5959. Farmers with fields that are not suitable for harvest should contact their crop insurance agent for guidance.
AIR Forms Due March 1
The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds farmers that March 1 is the deadline for submitting Annual Implementation Reports summarizing nutrient applications made during calendar year 2018. Reporting forms and instructions were mailed in January to approximately 5,500 Maryland farmers.

Maryland Grain Producers encourages all our growers to fill out all sections of the form, including the Innovative Practices section. These 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices will get us a long way toward our goals!

Funding Available for Farmers to Establish Healthy Soil Practices
Farmers in Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties who are interested in obtaining financial and technical support to establish healthy soil practices on their farms have until March 15 to apply for assistance through their local soil conservation district offices. This funding opportunity is made possible by a federal grant secured by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to support the installation of healthy soil practices that allow farmers to gain experience using the latest technological advances. Conservation practices eligible for funding and technical assistance include the following:
  • Adaptive nutrient management (a process used to evaluate and adjust nutrient application and utilization strategies over multiple seasons);
  • Multi-species cover crops;
  • Conservation crop rotations;
  • Variable rate technology for applying nutrients;
  • Residual and tillage management;
  • Precision farming;
  • Edge-of-field tools to identify and reduce agricultural sources of excess nutrients;
  • Forage and biomass plantings;
  • And other practices that support and enhance soil health

Upcoming Events
Herbicide Resistant Weed Workshops
Sponsored by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, University of Maryland Extension, and Virginia Cooperative Extension, these workshops will provide an overview of weed resistance challenge, including Palmer amaranth, common ragweed, marestail and others. Integrated management strategies and current research findings from area research trials will be shared. Pesticide and CCA credits will be available. Six Locations:
  • February 25 – Old Beale Sanctuary (VA): 804-443-3551
  • February 26 – St. Mary’s County UME Office: 301-475-4484
  • March 4 – Harrington Volunteer Fire Company (DE): 302-856-2585 ext 540
  • March 5 – Somerset County Extension Office: 410-651-1350
  • March 6 – Frederick County UME Office: 301-600-3576
  • March 7 – Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company: 410-778-1661
February 27 – Urbana Fireman’s Activity Center: 301-600-3576

Sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension, this workshop will focus on Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery Counties. Updates will be given on herbicide, corn insect control, AGNR, and nutrient managements. Other topics include Nitrogen management in corn, wheat diseases, and grain marketing outlooks. CCA credits will be available. 
March 1 – Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park: 410-758-0166

Sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension, this workshop will provide updates on weed and herbicide control and pesticides. Other topics included management of nitrogen and micronutrients. Pesticide, nutrient management, and CCA credits will be available. Mandatory annual training on dicamba for specialized use will also be available.    
Registration is now open for the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) Mental Health Workshops. Funded by the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) and The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the purpose of these workshops is to bring awareness to Mental Health in rural areas. Through these workshops, individuals working in the field with farmers on a daily basis will receive training to detect early warning signs and prevention methods for severe mental stress and substance abuse. Farmers and farm families are encouraged to attend. The workshops will be held at four locations around the state; including one at Chesapeake College on March 5, Harford County Public Library in Bel Air library on March 6, Frederick Community College on March 7, and the Charles Soil Conservation District on March 8, 2019.