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Maryland offers bonus to extend CRP contracts

Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program riparian forest buffer planted with tree saplings protected by plastic tubes and other native plant line the length of a creek
CONSERVATION BONUS: While practices such as grass waterways and contour grass strips are not covered by Maryland’s CLEAR30 bonus program, riparian forest buffers are.
Northeast Notebook: A livestock well-being workshop is set for June at Penn State.

Maryland is offering one-time bonus payments to farmers who enroll acres in long-term conservation reserve programs.

Farmers enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program with contracts due to expire Sept. 30 can transition to a 30-year contract option through the USDA’s Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR30) initiative.

The state’s Department of Agriculture is offering a bonus payment of $1,000 per acre as an incentive for CLEAR30-approved contracts in Maryland. The initiative provides incentives to producers who agree to implement long-term water quality improvement practices on their land for the next 30 years by building on their original 10- to 15-year CRP and CREP contracts.

The bonus payment applies to all accepted CLEAR30 contracts except grass waterways and contour grass strips.

CRP and CREP enrollees with contracts that expire before Sept. 30 should contact their local USDA Service Center to apply for CLEAR30. 

For more information, email Alisha Mulkey at alisha.mulkey@maryland.gov.

Register for meat quality workshop

“Impact of Managing Animal Well-Being on Meat Quality” is a half-day workshop that will address the programs in place that ensure well-being of livestock, particularly in relation to meat product quality. Penn State Extension professionals will discuss with producers and industry associates the benefits of proper handling, antibiotic use and transportation.

The June 15 workshop is designed for producers, on-farm production managers, animal welfare professionals, processing plant supervisors and others.

Attendees will learn about proper handling of swine and cattle before, during and after transport to the packer; on-farm facilities to assist proper animal loading and handling; evaluating the cost of a bruise; antibiotic use and resistance; and antibiotic use and pharmaceutical stewardship — and its effect on meat quality.

The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, 215 Innovation Blvd. in State College. The cost is $85.

For more information, visit extension.psu.edu.

TAGS: Livestock
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