Grain News & Updates
NCGA Urges Farmers to Harvest Safely
The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers of the importance of proper grain bin safety procedures this harvest. With farmers across the country preparing to hit the fields in their combines, NCGA offers both a list of safety reminders and a video on the important topic of grain bin safety.
Safety Tips:
  • Reduce vehicle width as much as possible and ensure adequate warning lighting.
  • Avoid pinch points between equipment – such as tractors with grain wagons. Visibility can be limited and serious injury can occur.
  • Ensure the harvesting equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.
  • Do not ever try to unplug any equipment without disengaging power and removing energy from the equipment.
  • Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery. Face machinery when dismounting and never jump from equipment.
  • Remove dust and buildup from equipment. Check bearings regularly to prevent overheating and chance of fire.
  • Be careful to monitor grain wagon weight to never exceed maximum weight limits. As weight increases, grain wagons can be more difficult to control.

Fall Nutrient Application Rules
Maryland’s fall nutrient application dates run from September 10 through December 15, 2018. University of Maryland Extension would like to remind farmers of the following rules:

  • Farmers are required to plant cover crops on fallow fields where organic nutrient sources have been applied in the fall. The planting deadline is November 15. Organic nutrient sources may be applied between November 16 and December 15 to cover crops and other vegetative cover that have previously been planted.

  • A fall application of an organic nutrient source (not poultry litter) may be made to an existing crop, a crop to be planted during the fall, or a crop to be planted the following spring before June 1 provided in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual. If imported organic sources are used, a Fall Soil Nitrate Test (FSNT) must be taken in advance to determine if additional nitrogen is warranted for a commodity small grain crop.

  • Poultry litter may be applied in the fall for an existing crop or crop to be planted in the fall. If the crop to be planted will be harvested as a small grain crop for commodity purposes, a FSNT must be taken to determine if it is eligible to receive nitrogen.

  • A fall application of a chemical fertilizer may be made to an existing crop or crop to be planted during this time period based on crop fertility recommendations provided in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual.
  • Nutrient applications are prohibited during the fall application period when the soil is saturated, when the ground is covered with snow greater than one inch, or when the ground is hard-frozen greater than two inches. 
UMD Scientist Helps Harvest Wheat’s Giant Genetic Code
University of Maryland researcher Dr. Vijay Tiwari served as part of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, and helped to accomplish a feat once considered impossible, sequencing the full genome of wheat, the world’s most widely cultivated crop. Experts say that the long-awaited mapping of wheat’s vast genetic territory opens up opportunities for creating new and better strains of wheat by improving complex traits such as crop yield, grain quality, resistance to diseases or pests, tolerance to heat and drought, and even characteristics like protein content or types and amounts of allergy causing compounds. 

“The wheat genome gives us a complete picture that will be the key to unlocking genes controlling important traits for crop improvement,” said UMD consortium researcher Vijay Tiwari, who leads the Small Grain Breeding and Genetics program in the department of plant science & landscape architecture. “When this discovery was made for rice and maize, rapid advances were made in those crops almost immediately after,” he said.

Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology Launches Cloud to Cab Podcast Series
From Cloud to Cab is a podcast series for farmers on the Delmarva Peninsula and in the Mid-Atlantic Region, offering timely conversations with scientists, policymakers, agribusinesses, conservationists and other farmers. The goal is to offer news, updates and different perspectives in a fresh and accessible format, especially when our listeners don’t have the time to sit down and read an article! From Cloud to Cab is hosted by Josh Bollinger with the University of Maryland Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology of Queenstown, Md., and Jen Nelson with Resource Smart LLC of Greenwood, Del. You can subscribe to it in iTunes or Google Play, or listen online.

Applications Due October 1 for LEAD Maryland Class XI
Applications for LEAD Maryland Class XI (2019-2020) are being accepted now. LEAD seeks a diversity of applicants with careers, service, or interests in production agriculture, natural resources, forestry, aquaculture, environment and conservation, food, rural communities, and business. There will be between 20 to 25 people selected to be Class XI Fellows. Program participants, Fellows, will: participate in a series of multi-day seminars throughout Maryland and Washington DC; complete a travel study tour; and complete a group project.
$25,000 Up for Grabs for College Agriculture Advocates
College students are lining up for the chance to win more than $25,000 in scholarships while growing their confidence in communicating about agriculture in the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 10th annual College Aggies Online scholarship competition which kicks off September 10.

The nine-week competition empowers students to engage their peers and community about agriculture as industry mentors offer expertise and guidance. The competition is open to undergraduate students, graduate students and collegiate clubs. Individuals develop communication skills by tackling weekly challenges and creating social media content. Clubs host events, such as farm tours, food drives and campus booths, inviting their peers to have a conversation about agriculture. Last year, students reached 4.4 million people on social media and more than 16,000 people at club events.

Stand Up for Grain Markets!
NOW is the time to make your voice heard and submit comments on important issues including restoring the RFS, strengthening markets for farmers and maintaining a strong Farm Bill.