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Category: MD Dept. of Ag. Archives

One’s Man’s Manure Is Another Men’s Fertilizer: Maryland’s Match Making Services For Manure

August 1999 “ISO needy soil yearning for rich nutrients…” Sounds like a personals classified or dating service, and in a way it is. Maryland’s Manure Matching Services matches up manure producers (i.e. livestock operations, including your horse farm) with manure consumers, such as grain farmers. It is a beautifully simple and almost obvious program, and it makes one wonder why it wasn’t done earlier, why it took the Water Quality Act of 1998 to authorize and make it happen. But it did, and it has. If you are interested in enrolling in the program, you must fill out a “Sending Farm” form, which gets filed with the Manure Matching Services. When the services finds the right match for your manure (based on requests filed from farmers or “alternate users”), the farmer or alternative user will contact you to make arrangements for manure...

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Licensing Your Riding or Boarding Stable

Do You… Board Horses? Accept Horses For Training? Give Lessons? Rent or Lease Horses? Then the Law Says You Need a License October 2000 One of the functions of the Maryland Horse Industry Board is to oversee the inspection and licensing of horse riding stables. The purpose of inspecting and licensing is not to be punitive to stable owners; it is intended to ensure that the horses are receiving a certain minimum amount of humane care, that the facility is generally safe for the horse and the consumer (lesson student or boarder), and that, if a public lesson or rental stable, that the tack and equipment meets certain minimum safety standards. Who is required to have a license? Of the over 500 riding and boarding stables in the back of The Equiery, less than 400 are licensed, but many more should be. According to the Title 15 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, anyone who generally operates a stable as a business, with the exemption of racing stables, should be licensed. In other words, you must be licensed if you board five or more horses and receive compensation for doing so (this includes self care boarders, field boarders and any horses residing on the property for sales or training), OR sell five or more horses a year, OR provide lessons on one or more horses, or rent or lease...

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Is Big Brother Going to Be Peering into My Muck Pile?

December 2000/January 2001 The bad news is, yes. But, the good news is most of you won’t have anything to worry about. This article first appeared in August 1999, and has been updated as of November 2000. Why? Because most of you already have some sort of system in place for handling your manure. You will just have to account for it now under the current regulations. In fact, Maryland has been a leader in the country for farmers of all agricultural products voluntarily implementing nutrient management plans. If we are already doing it, why do we need more laws? Politics These new laws really weren’t originally intended to regulate horse farms; they were intended to regulate poultry farms, but all of agriculture got caught up (some might say as an easy scapegoat) in the “Pfiesteria Hysteria” of 1998. That was the year when lawmakers were attempting to pacify citizens outraged from the 1997 outbreaks of pfiesteria, which killed thousands of fish, closed three Chesapeake Bay tributaries, and even proved harmful to humans. The outbreak severely damaged our seafood and tourism industries, and Marylanders were angry and wanted something done. They wanted it fixed. They wanted a law passed. Scientific research has indicated that the microbe Pfiesteria piscicida can become toxic in nutrient rich waters. Since watersheds where Pfiesteria was present were predominantly near poultry farms, a hue and...

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Controlling Mud on Your Farm

December 2000/January 2001 Don’t Be A Stick In The Mud! We often have lots of little annoying problems on our farms, and we try to come up with inventive solutions to deal with them. Chances are, you are not the first one with that little annoying farm issue, so why re-invent the wheel! You may find a quick and easy solution, FREE, by contacting your local Cooperative Extension or Soil Conservation District. n For example — got a mud problem on your farm? Who doesn’t. This is one solution available from your local Soil Conservation District: CONTROLLING MUD ON YOUR FARM Mud can be a big problem wherever animals congregate, especially around gates, water troughs, barn entrances, and feeding pads. If mud in these areas is making you and your horses miserable, heavy use pads are an easy and somewhat inexpensive fix. The main components of a heavy use pad — stone and landscape fabric — allow water to slowly drain away without mixing with dirt. They are simple to install if you have a front loading tractor and can do simple excavation work. If not, you might want to hire someone with the necessary equipment. Don’t skimp on the size of the pad. If you’re installing one around a trough, make it at least the length of one horse on each accessible side of the trough. To give...

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