farmers

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has started awarding new business development grants to farmers.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office announced Tuesday that the state had given two $5,000 grants to two farms.

The new grants are designed to help farmers manage risk and broaden income sources. The state plans to award 30 grants a year for activities like business restructuring, farm succession planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, website design, and recipe development.

creative commons

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - Changes may be on the horizon for poultry growers in Somerset County.

County commissioners are considering several zoning changes related to poultry operations, including increasing the required distance between chicken houses and neighboring properties.

At a meeting Tuesday, officials also will consider several other recommendations, including landscaping requirements and a proposal that ventilation fans be kept 1,000 feet away from adjacent properties.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Four Virginia counties have received federal disaster designations for farmers stemming from flooding last fall.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued primary disaster designations for Isle of Wight, Patrick, Southampton and Surry counties.

Nine counties and three cities that border those four counties also were designated as contiguous disaster areas.

Don Rush

Maryland state leaders could be close to a compromise on Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to reduce the runoff of phosphorus from farms into the Chesapeake Bay.

WBOC reports that the regulations would divide farms into three tiers based on the amount of phosphorus in the soil.

There would be a 20 member advisory board that could weigh in on whether the farmers are making enough progress or need more time.

The panel would include environmentalists like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as well as agricultural advocates such as the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.

governor's office (file phot0)

Governor Larry Hogan has laid out a new phosphorus initiative.

Billed as an enhanced phosphorus management tool the Maryland Governor would give more time for farmers to cut their use of phosphorus and would immediately stop the state’s greatest offenders.

Most farmers would have until 2022 to fully comply with the new regulations.

Hogan’s spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said that 21 percent of farmers on the Lower Shore would feel the immediate impact of the change.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland is joining three other jurisdictions in supporting the Obama administration's plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It's seeking to counter an election-year legal challenge by farmers and 21 attorneys general.

The case before a federal court in Philadelphia asks whether the EPA went too far in negotiating a 2010 agreement that sets pollution limits on the nation's largest estuary.

Don Rush

Casinos

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Markell administration officials are proposing an $8 million temporary financial bailout for Delaware's three casinos.

Administration officials made the proposal Monday to the legislature's capital budget committee as part of their recommendations for spending some $50 million in newly available funds. The new funding includes $21 million in estimated additional tax revenue for the fiscal year starting July 1, and $22 million in premiums from a recent bond sale.

Don Rush

If they agree to mitigate water pollution Maryland farmers will get a 10-year reprieve from the state in implementing new water quality regulations.

The choice is the result of legislation under the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program approved during the last session.

But farmers do have questions about how the new law may work.