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Maryland farmers will be faced with different challenges in 2016

Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder outlines the year ahead

By Diego Flammini,

It’s no surprise that every farmer in every state faces a variety of obstacles throughout the year.

The extreme drought conditions in California, along with the avian flu outbreak that impacted Minnesota, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin are only a few examples of the challenges farmers have to navigate.

In Maryland, Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder outlined some of the challenges and opportunities awaiting farmers in the Old Line State.

“The most important challenge Maryland agriculture will face in 2016 is helping our elected officials and the general public understand the environmental stewardship efforts of our farmers and progress made to date to preserve our precious natural resources,” he wrote in a piece that appeared in the Delmarva Farmer Ag Decisions Supplement.

Another challenge outlined by Bartenfelder is to help the public understand the value and importance of agriculture to Maryland’s economy.

In 2014, farmers in Maryland planted 500,000 acres of corn, which produced more than 75 billion bushels worth nearly $295 million.

Biosecurity measures to protect livestock and poultry are other obstacles farmers need to be aware of. The avian influenza outbreak of 2015 saw at least 45 million birds affected, resulting in multi-million dollar impacts.

Bartenfelder wrote that growers can’t afford to take any risks and must keep a close eye on their livestock for any signs of illness.

Join the conversation and tell us about some of the challenges you’ve had to face on your farm this year. What measures did you take to overcome them?

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