Updated: January 13, 2021
Animal welfare is oftentimes housed under the same umbrella as sustainability because improvements in both are viewed as progress towards the future. In other words, any improvement in animal welfare also improves the sustainability of production or potentially has less impact on the surrounding environment. However, the relationships between poultry production and welfare and the impact of production on the environment are complex and difficult to balance
Updated: February 4, 2021
How much energy is used on Maryland farms? The energy used to perform many routine crop and livestock operations may cost your farm several hundred or thousands of dollars each month. On average, 15% of agricultural production costs in the United States are spent on the fuels and electricity used for equipment operation (see Figure 1) as modern agricultural equipment uses a significant amount of fuel and energy. Additional costs arise from the energy used indirectly through petroleum-based products (i.e., fertilizer and pesticides) and through transportation which becomes a concern for more rural farms with products traveling further to markets. The cost of this energy comes amidst growing concerns over low farm profits, rising energy prices in the ag sector (EIA, 2019), and Maryland’s rapidly changing energy environment which requires 50% of the state’s electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030. The greatest impact of the changing energy market is expected on those farms using a lot of machinery due to their elevated fuel use, and smaller farms that are unable to distribute their energy costs.
Updated: March 30, 2021
Nature Deficit Disorder is a term coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” It refers to the psychological, physical and cognitive consequences stemming from a lack of time in nature. The disconnect between indoors and outdoors may not be at fault for every psychological and physical ill, but it definitely correlates with modern increases in attention deficit disorder, depression, obesity, and stress. The solution to Nature Deficit Disorder is simple…spend time outside in natural settings. The great news about this, is that we don’t have to be biologists or ecologists to develop nature based programs. We just have to serve as enthusiastic guides navigating the countless exploration opportunities that nature provides. Natural exploration can provide a critical spark, helping youth find a sense of belonging with others who care about the natural world while experiencing the healing powers of nature. Youth are often inspired to develop hope filled solutions for issues or concerns they see in the natural settings they explore. Thus, nature based programming can be a powerful tool for helping 4-H youth to thrive. Interactions with nature enhance positive life skill development; increasing attention span, developing positive social, gross motor, teamwork, and problem solving skills. The research is compelling. As educators we can communicate the powerful benefits of natural exploration to parents and youth in our communities as we launch 4-H programs aimed to use nature as a healer of Nature Deficit Disorder.
Updated: February 3, 2021
Remote setting is a technique that uses hatchery larvae to produce spat on shell for planting oyster grounds. The method has been successfully employed as a key part in building the Maryland oyster aquaculture industry. This manual covers system components, operation and management and is used for training new growers and for reference by experienced ones to enable them to produce quality seed for planting leases.
Updated: January 10, 2021
Seafood provides essential nutrients that can help prevent disease and improve quality of life. The FDA and EPA advise eating eight to twelve ounces of seafood every week. However, national data indicates Americans are under consuming seafood products (only five ounces per week) and may be foregoing health benefits. This fact sheet discusses the importance of seafood in a healthy diet—essential nutrients, recommended servings, and suggested varieties—to promote increased consumption.
Updated: January 6, 2021
Blue Catfish is an invasive fish species in the Chesapeake Bay. Increasing commercial harvest and consumption is one way to reduce their numbers in our Bay. This fact sheet aims to enhance public awareness on this invasive species as a new commercial fishery resource and support this newly developed seafood industry for rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated: February 7, 2021
Peaches have a short shelf life capacity, thus are susceptible to high spoilage. Therefore, peaches destined for the wholesale market need to be harvested mature but not fully ripe, and submitted to cold storage to delay the ripening process. Chilling injury (CI) is a physiological disorder triggered by exposure to cold storage temperatures for a certain period of time, especially when kept in the “killing” temperature range of 36-46°F (2-8°C). CI will only be perceived when the fruit is re-exposed to room temperature, thus when the fruit reaches consumers. As such, CI is an enormous challenge and leads to consumer disappointment through undesirable fruit internal quality.
Updated: February 3, 2021
Provide an overview of the bankruptcy title used by family farmers and fisherman to reorganize debt.
Updated: February 3, 2021
A soil quality management issue unique to tree nurseries is the removal of soil off site with sale of the ornamental trees and shrubs, which are harvested with a balled and burlapped (B and B) root ball. The amount of soil removed with B and B harvest and sale has been estimated as much as 5 cm per year. One piece of evidence that has been used to estimate soil loss during B&B tree harvest is the volume of the holes left behind. However, the soil balls wrapped for B and B removal are generally densely permeated with tree roots, leading some to assume that much or most of the ball removed consist of roots rather than soil. There is a dearth of published data on this soil removal or published methods that will allow for reliable calculation of soil being removed from individual enterprises.The main conclusion from this study is that a balled and burlapped (B and B) root ball consists almost entirely (99%) of soil and that the tree roots take up only a negligible portion of the mass and volume. Our results show that in fact the volume of the hole left behind is a reasonable estimate of the volume of soil removed.
Updated: January 9, 2021
With the arrival of a new seed lubricant product, DUST, the University of Maryland evaluated its performance against two common seed lubricants in both corn and soybeans in 2019. DUST is a soy protein lubricant that is a cleaner alternative to commonly available seed lubricants, such as graphite which can create a mess for users of the product. It is also reported to contribute to early plant vigor.