Agriculture Notes

Agriculture Notes

December 21, 2003

Sustainable agriculture conference Jan. 16, 17

Future Harvest -- Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture will hold its fifth annual conference, "Farming for Profit and Stewardship," on Jan. 16 and 17 at Four Points Sheraton in Hagerstown.

Check-in and registration will begin at noon Jan. 16. An opening session will begin at 1:30 p.m. with presentations on "Successful Farming and "New Markets, New Generations and New Technology."

A Future Harvest membership meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 16, followed by networking, dinner and a panel discussion on successful farming enterprises in the Mid-Atlantic region.

A preconference seminar on "Establishing a Profitable, Sustainable Business" is available from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 16. The cost is $25 per person or $40 per farming couple and is limited to 30 people.

Activities on Jan. 17 will include workshops on such topics as seasonal perspectives, beekeeping, livestock behavior and handling, cover crops, e-commerce, risk management, grazing impacts on water quality, cultivating a flower and herb business, weed control, marketing opportunities for wool producers, business planning, tips for small-farm success and integrated insect control.

Memberships to Future Harvest are available at the conference. Registration for the conference is $25 for members, $65 for nonmembers and $15 for students. Meals are extra. Advance registration is required by Jan. 8.

Information: 410-604-2681.

Sign-up deadline Jan. 30 for Crop Disaster Program

Sign-up ends Jan. 30 for the Crop Disaster Program, which provides payments to producers who suffered crop-year losses in 2001 or last year because of a natural disaster.

Applicants are restricted to $80,000 in total payments. Producers are reimbursed for qualifying crop production and quality losses (other than sugar cane, sugar beets or tobacco) for either 2001 or last year.

Payments are issued for losses exceeding 35 percent of expected production at:

Fifty percent of the established price for crops that were covered by crop insurance.

Fifty percent of the established price for crops for which crop insurance was unavailable.

Forty-five percent of the established price to producers for crops that could have been insured but were not.

Producers are also reimbursed for quality losses of at least 20 percent for certain crops.

Eligible producers who did not have crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage during the year of the disaster must agree to purchase coverage for the next two crop years.

Other limits on losses may apply.

Information: Carroll County Farm Service Agency at 410- 848-2780, Ext. 2; or FSA's Web site at http://disaster.fsa.

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