Maryland grain farmers invest over $800,000 in market development, education and research
CENTREVILLE — The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board has awarded $836,719 in grants to increase the profitability of Maryland grain production, expand the utilization of grain, and to improve public understanding of agriculture. Grant funds for market development, education, and research are made available through the Maryland Grain Checkoff Program. The checkoff program is 100 percent farmer funded. It is farmers helping their own industry and those consumers that benefit from their products.
“It is always a difficult task to decide which projects to allocate funds,” said Jennie Schmidt, president of MGPUB and a farmer in Queen Anne’s County. “Because the checkoff funds are based on a percentage of a farmer’s net grain sales, the level of funding varies each year depending on market prices and yields. With this year’s low prices, we saw a significant drop in funding and had to cut the budget. Though our board realizes all the grants applied for have value, we really had to weigh the benefits of each when deciding which projects to fund and at what level.”
Funds for the 2017 grant period were allocated to projects in the areas of market development ($454,221), education ($262,560) and research ($119,938). A significant share of funding in the market development category helps secure matching funds and maximizes efforts of selling Maryland grain products worldwide. The majority of education funding supports Maryland Farm and Harvest, Maryland Public Television’s top-rated and award-winning show and local extension programs.
Funding for projects that scientifically assess management practices and improve sustainability have always carried a priority.
“Maryland agriculture has continually achieved our Chesapeake Bay clean-up goals ahead of schedule. We believe in continual improvements on the farm as they become available through proven science, to protect our resources while providing essential food, fiber and energy products for the consumer,” said Schmidt.
Maryland’s Grain Checkoff Program has been in effect since 1991 and collects a half a percent of the net value of grain sold. The MGPUB administers the funds through a board consisting of regional grain farmer representatives and advisory members representing the University of Maryland, Maryland Department of Agriculture, affiliated national grain organizations and agri-businesses in the state. Funded projects are specific to the needs of Maryland’s grain farmers.
For more information, call 443-262-8491 or visit www. marylandgrain.com. MARKETING PROJECTS • Barley, $1,987, National Barley Growers Association
• Corn, $230,000, National Corn Growers Association
• Ethanol Promotion and Infrastructure Development, $27,634, Sustainable Energy Strategies Inc.
• Grains, $75,000, Grains Council
• Grain Marketing Programs, $50,000 Maryland Grain Producers Association
• Investigating Opportunities for Maryland Grain Farmers in Cuba, $2,500, Maryland Agricultural Associates
• Wheat Marketing, $56,100, U.S. Wheat Associates
• Wheat Policy, $11,000, National Association of Wheat Growers EDUCATION PROJECTS • Agricultural Leadership Development Program, $20,000, LEAD Maryland
• Agriculture Awareness Day, $5,000, Queen Anne’s County Farm Bureau
• AGsploration: “Planting the Seeds of Agriculture in a Digital Society”, $3,500, University of Maryland Extension Howard County
• AgVenture, $1,500, Carroll County Cooperative Extension
• Close Encounters with Agriculture, $5,000, Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Office
• CommonGround Program, $10,000, MidAtlantic CommonGround
• Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program, $15,000, MD Association of Soil Conservation U.S. Districts
• FFA Chapter Field Trip, $400, Queen Anne’s County FFA
• Grain Advertising, Exhibit and Education Programs, $50,000 Maryland Grain Producers Association
• Kids Growing with Grains, $1,000, Washington County Extension Advisory Council
• Kids Growing with Grains, $2,750, University of Maryland Extension Frederick County
• Maryland Envirothon, $5,000, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts
• Maryland Farm and Harvest, $125,000, Mar yland Public Television
• Mobile Science Lab, $4,000, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation
• Providing FFA Program Incentives that Enhance Education and Development of Maryland Youth, $13,000, FFA Foundation
• Tractor School: POTs, Rollovers, Grain Bins and More!, $1,410, University of Maryland Queen Anne’s County RESEARCH PROJECTS • Assessing the Potential of UAVs for Integration into Field Crop Production, $2,795, University of Maryland Somerset Extension
• Determining the Ideal Irrigation Strategy for High Intensity Corn Production, $22,720, University of Delaware
• Evaluation of Nitrogen Rate and Fungicide Use on Wheat Yield and Quality, $13,665, University of Maryland
• Evaluation of the Use of Poultry Litter on Soils with High Phosphorous Concentration, $10,040, University of Delaware
• Evaluation of Winter Malting Barley Varieties and Production Practices for Yield and Quality, $6,718, University of Maryland
• Expanding Barley and Rye Production for the Craft Beverage Industries, $2,000, University of Maryland Carroll County
• Impact of Repeated Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Treated Seed in Grain Crop Rations on Non-target Invertebrates and Soil Microbes, $18,000, University of Maryland
• Improvement and Development of Barley for Use in Feed, Food and Fuel, $5,000, Virginia Polytech Institute
• Monitoring Field Level Groundwater Quality in the Upper Chester Showcase Watershed, $8,000, U.S. Geological Sur vey
• Reducing Nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay through Oyster Restoration, $10,000, Oyster Recovery Partnership
• Trends in Soil Test Phosphorous and Sorption Capacity following Long-term Application of Poultry Litter and Commercial Fertilizers, $5,000, University of Delaware
• Variety Development and Testing of Small Grains in Maryland for Higher Yields, Disease Resistance, Harvestability and Nitrogen Uptake, $16,000, University of Maryland
Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board President Jennie Schmidt of Sudlersville, left, presents scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to Mark Debnam of Kennedyville, Grace Brinsfield of Vienna, Jacqueline Bauer of Dayton, and Jamie Hetrick of Preston during the 18th annual Maryland Commodity Classic in July 2016.