R&D key fac­tors in farm fu­ture

MPGUB awards schol­ar­ships

Record Observer - - Front Page - bay­times@kibay­times.com By HAN­NAH COMBS and DOUG BISHOP

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The fu­ture of farming is heav­ily de­pen­dent on con­tin­ued re­search and devel­op­ment ac­cord­ing to ex­perts and speak­ers at the Mar yland Com­mod­ity Clas­sic held Thurs­day, July 28, at the Queen Anne’s 4-H Park.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, U.S. Farm­ers & Ranch­ers Al­liance rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nancy Kavazan­jian, of Beaver Dam, Wis­con­sin, talked about “Sus­tain­abil­ity — Smart Agri­cul­tural Busi­ness Prac­tices.”

She em­pha­sized that farm­ers should

“speak to the pub­lic about how they farm, what you do and don’t do, to re­as­sure the pub­lic that you have stan­dards and share con­cerns about qual­ity foods be­ing made avail­able to con­sumers that are safe for con­sump­tion.”

She said to­day’s farm­ers have stan­dards that match the con­cerns of the gen­eral pub­lic, such as: “1. wa­ter, soil, air, and habitat; 2. im­prov­ing the en­vi­ron­ment around the farm; 3. lim­it­ing im­pact; 4. im­prov­ing hu­man health; 5. ac­cess for safe, nu­tri­tious food; 6. ef­fi­cient land use; 7. (do­ing) more with less; 8. us­ing new tech­nolo­gies — equip­ment and soft­ware; 9. mak­ing busi­ness more prof­itable through sus­tain­abil­ity; and 10. sus­tain­able food is af­ford­able food.”

She was fol­lowed by Bob Kra­tochvil, ex­ten­sion agron­o­mist at the Univer­sity of Mary­land, in­tro­duc­ing the new Dean of Agri­cul­ture at the Univer­sity of Mar yland, Col­lege Park, Dr. Craig Bey­routy. Bey­routy said very few peo­ple know UMD was founded as a “land grant univer­sity, with the mis­sion of pur­su­ing re­search and devel­op­ment for agri­cul­ture.”

He added, “The UMD is ranked in the Top 5 schools in the na­tion as a col­lege of Agri­cul­ture, and the only school on the East Coast with that rank­ing.”

Bey­routy in­tro­duced sev­eral speak­ers who talked about their re­search projects re­lated to im­prov­ing grain pro­duc­tion.

Among those who pre­sented at Thurs­day’s an­nual meet­ing was Sarah Hirsh, a grad­u­ate stu­dent with the Univer­sity of Mary­land, study­ing soil sci­ence. Hirsh pre­sented find­ings of a two-year study con­ducted by the Univer­sity of Mar yland iden­ti­fy­ing ear­lier plant­ing of cover crops in the fall as key to pick­ing up ni­tro­gen from the soil. The study eval­u­ated type of cover crops and plant­ing times and com­pared root growth depth to see if they were reach­ing suf­fi­cient depths to ef­fi­ciently cap­ture ni­tro­gen or whether ni­tro­gen was leech­ing out of reach of the cover crops roots over the win­ter.

Hirsch said the study found that radish and a rye mix were found ca­pa­ble of reach­ing soil depths up to six feet and pick­ing up sig­nif­i­cantly more amounts of ni­tro­gen when planted early in the fall.

A cur­rent study by the Univer­sity of Mary­land is re­search­ing if corn sam­ples planted over cover crop — more ef­fi­ciently re­mov­ing ni­tro­gen from the soil — is bring­ing and hold­ing enough ni­tro­gen to the soil sur­face for the re­planted corn to be able to ab­sorb and up­take the ni­tro­gen or whether a small amount of starter ni­tro­gen is still nec­es­sary to be ap­plied, es­pe­cially in sandier soil.

Pro­fes­sor Ray Weil pre­sented in­for­ma­tion on a study cur­rently in early stages that might iden­tify the pro­tein qual­ity of soy­beans. Ini­tial stud­ies, Weil con­cluded, in­di­cate crops may be start­ing to get a sul­fur de­fi­ciency. Cur­rent soil tests do not ad­e­quately or ac­cu­rately test for sul­fur, which is a crit­i­cal el­e­ment in en­hanc­ing the qual­ity and yield of soy­bean pro­tein, he said.

The af­ter­noon ses­sion be­gan with Mar yland Grain Pro­duc­ers Uti­liza­tion Board Pres­i­dent Jen­nie Schmidt of Sudlersville wel­com­ing ever yone who at­tended, and talk­ing about the growth and im­prove­ments of grain farming in Mary­land over the past 20 years.

She also took time to rec­og­nize long­time Mary­land Grain Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Lynne Hoot of Edge­wa­ter for her ser­vice, and an­nounced Hoot will be re­tir­ing this Septem­ber. Hoot has served as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor/ad­mis­tra­tor for eight dif­fer­ent Mary­land agri­cul­tural as­so­ci­a­tions for nearly 30 years. Hoot re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion.

Schmidt then made schol­ar­ship pre­sen­ta­tions to four youth who are pur­su­ing ca­reers in agri­cul­ture. The schol­ar­ships were for $2,500 each to be ap­plied to each stu­dent’s tu­ition costs. Re­cip­i­ents were Jacque­line Bauer of Day­ton, Grace Brins­field of Vi­enna, Mark Deb­nam of Kennedyville and Jamie Het­rick of Pre­ston.

“We have an outstanding group of qual­i­fied in­di­vid­u­als re­ceiv­ing schol­ar­ships this year,” Schmidt said. “Trained pro­fes­sion­als are needed to meet the de­mand for ca­reers ad­dress­ing is­sues such as world hunger and food safety, re­new­able en­ergy and en­vi­ron­men­tal ste­ward­ship. We are proud to have awarded schol­ar­ships to 49 stu­dents so far to fol­low a ca­reer path in agri­cul­ture.”

The daugh­ter of Les­lie and Ricky Bauer of Day­ton, Jacque­line Bauer was raised on a grain and pro­duce farm. She attends Ok­la­homa State Univer­sity through the Aca­demic Com­mon Mar­ket, ma­jor­ing in Agri­cul­tural Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Animal Sci­ence with a mi­nor in Ger­man. At Glenelg High School she was a mem­ber of the Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety and played vol­ley­ball, and she was a 4-H mem­ber. She hopes to study in Ger­many be­fore be­gin­ning a ca­reer manag­ing pub­lic re­la­tions

for an agri­cul­tural busi­ness.

Jacque­line said, “I hope to bet­ter ed­u­cate the pub­lic about the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try and help shrink the gap be­tween agri­cul­tural and non-agri­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties.”

Us­ing what she will learn through an agron­omy de­gree from the Univer­sity of Mary­land Col­lege Park, Grace Brins­field plans to join Mary­land Ex­ten­sion and be a 4-H leader, help­ing farm­ers with agron­omy prob­lems.

“I at­tended Agron­omy Day that the Univer­sity of Mary­land Ex­ten­sion put on and that day I de­cided I wanted to study agron­omy,” Grace said. Her par­ents, Mary­Lou Brown and Dick New­comb, raised Grace on a veg­etable and grain farm in Vi­enna. She at­tended North Dorch­ester High School and grad­u­ated in May. She was ac­tive in soft­ball, cross coun­try, se­nior class play, Key Club, Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety, En­vi­rothon and Stu­dent Lit­er­acy Team.

Mark Deb­nam lives on the fam­ily grain farm and hog op­er­a­tion with his par­ents, Jen­nifer and Ge­orge Deb­nam of Kennedyville. Mark at­tended Kent County High School where he was in­volved in FFA, Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety and base­ball. He is tak­ing cour­ses at the com­mu­nity col­lege and plans to trans­fer to Vir­ginia Tech to pur­sue an Agron­omy ma­jor. After grad­u­at­ing with a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Crop and Soil Sci­ences, he plans to come home and work as an agron­o­mist, then take what he has learned back to his fam­ily’s farm.

“I en­joy ev­ery as­pect of farming, but I es­pe­cially like grow­ing crops,” Mark said.

A re­cent grad­u­ate of Colonel Richardson High School, Jamie Het­rick was ac­tive in band, Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety, Na­tional Tech­ni­cal Honor So­ci­ety, Na­tional Span­ish Honor So­ci­ety, FFA, 4-H and Prom Com­mit­tee. Daugh­ter of Vic­trie and Car­roll Het­rick, Jamie grew up on her grand­par­ent’s and un­cle’s hay and grain farm.

“It is im­por­tant to me to carry on my grand­fa­ther’s legacy in agri­cul­ture,” Jamie said. “Agri­cul­ture is my pas­sion and I am very ea­ger to pur­sue it.”

She plans to ob­tain a Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Agribusi­ness Man­age­ment at West Vir­ginia Univer­sity and re­turn home to work and in the fu­ture take over the fam­ily farm.

“Agri­cul­ture is an ex­cit­ing ca­reer field with many op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Schmidt said. “We are ex­cited to see th­ese young peo­ple want­ing to make a con­tri­bu­tion to our in­dus­try. This schol­ar­ship pro­gram is a long-term in­vest­ment with big div­i­dends for the fu­ture of farming.”

Schmidt said, “Agri­cul­ture is an ex­cit­ing ca­reer field with many op­por­tu­ni­ties. We’re ex­cited to see th­ese young peo­ple want­ing to make a con­tri­bu­tion to our in­dus­try. This schol­ar­ship pro­gram is a long-term in­vest­ment with big div­i­dends for the fu­ture of farming.”

The re­main­der of the af­ter­noon was filled with guest speak­ers, panel dis­cus­sions on var­i­ous top­ics grain re­lated, nu­tri­ent man­age­ment reg­u­la­tions, ac­tions taken by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in the past year and the topic, “Why con­sumers hate BIG AG.”

Wil­liam Layton, chair­man of the Mary­land Soy­bean Board, said fund­ing for projects to con­tinue re­search and devel­op­ment of the soy­bean is crit­i­cal. The board plays a role in promoting the use of biodiesel, which can be made with soy­bean oil. New York state is a sig­nif­i­cant con­sumer of bio-diesel, said Layton, man­dat­ing the use of bio-diesel for their gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cles.

Also pre­sent­ing was Judy Den­ver, U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Ser­vice. The Ge­o­log­i­cal Ser­vice con­tin­ues to mon­i­tor the field level ground­wa­ter qual­ity in the Up­per Ch­ester Show­case Water­shed. The study will con­tinue to re­view the qual­ity of wa­ter and ni­tro­gen pres­ence in streams in re­sponse to conser va­tion prac­tices, com­par­ing re­sults from both ir­ri­gated and dry land fields, Den­ver said.

From the Univer­sity of Delaware, Qin Zhix­ian pre­sented field stud­ies of phos­pho­rous con­cen­tra­tions and the di­rect cor­re­la­tion be­tween in­creased phos­pho­rous lev­els and heavy poul­try ma­nure ap­pli­ca­tion. Con­cen­tra­tion has been long on ni­tro­gen lev­els, said Zhixia, but phos­pho­rous lev­els need to be watched care­fully as well. Funds from the Mary­land Grain Pro­duc­ers are be­ing used to eval­u­ate the ap­pli­ca­tion of silicon to use the up­take and ap­pli­ca­tion of early phos­pho­rous, said Zhix­ian.

The day ended with chicken and pork bar­be­cue catered by Paul Gun­ther Cater­ing, steamed crabs from Har­ris Crab House and a va­ri­ety of sides, iced tea and lemon­ade.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

Mary­land Grain Pro­duc­ers Uti­liza­tion Board Pres­i­dent Jen­nie Schmidt of Sudlersville wel­comes ev­ery­one to the af­ter­noon ses­sion of the 18th an­nual Mary­land Com­mod­ity Clas­sic Thurs­day, July 28, at the 4-H Park in Cen­tre­ville.

PHO­TOS BY DOUG BISHOP

Schol­ar­ship award re­cip­i­ents as pre­sented by Mary­land Grain Pro­duc­ers Uti­liza­tion Board Pres­i­dent Jen­nie Schmidt, left, Thurs­day af­ter­noon, July 28, dur­ing the 18th an­nual Mary­land Com­mod­ity Clas­sic. Schol­ar­ships to­tal­ing $10,000 were pre­sented to, from the left, Mark Deb­nam of Kennedyville, Grace Brins­field of Vi­enna, Jacque­line Bauer of Day­ton and Jamie Het­rick of Pre­ston.

A farmer, left, looks at ma­te­ri­als pre­sented by Per­due AgriBusi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rami Ben Dor, dur­ing the 18th an­nual Mary­land Com­mod­ity Clas­sic at the 4-H Park in Cen­tre­ville, Thurs­day, July 28. Nu­mer­ous agri­cul­ture re­lated ven­dors were present.

Univer­sity of Mary­land Dean of Agri­cul­ture Dr. Craig Bey­routy speaks at the 18th an­nual Mary­land Grain Grow­ers Com­mod­ity Clas­sic Thurs­day, July 28, at the 4-H Park in Cen­tre­ville. Bey­routy spoke briefly about the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture to the econ­omy of Mary­land, stat­ing the School of Agri­cul­ture at UMD is ranked among the Top 5 in the na­tion. He then in­tro­duced a num­ber of spe­cial­ist re­search speak­ers who pre­sented re­sults from their par­tic­u­lar stud­ies that have taken place in the past year.

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