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Saturday, 7 July 2012

2012 Farm Bill Helps Crops, Stink Bug Research

2012 Farm Bill Helps Crops, Stink Bug Research - Robert Black knows all too well what stink bugs can do to crops. “When you’re selling at a retail store or direct, people want a perfect fruit, so stink bugs really took a toll on a lot of us,” Black said. Black’s farm, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, became a USDA stink bug research farm after bugs destroyed thousands of dollars worth of crops two years ago. The USDA has about a dozen stink bug traps on the orchard. The pests are attracted to a blue light and to the pheromones.

Now that research will continue thanks to the federal 2012 Farm Bill. It also provides $70 million in grants, money for greenhouses, and crop insurance. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Causes $37 Million In Losses,

“When we have a devastating hailstorm that ruins our entire crop, we may have already invested all of our money in for that year,” Black said. “Therefore, something like that can help, and all it does is help us get by that year so that we may not go under or have to sell some of our land.”

Dick David enjoys coming to Catoctin Mountain Orchard each year to get fruit. Stink bug 38 states,

“If money comes to the farms in the area, it will really help the economy. It will help farms be able to produce more produce or produce different types of vegetables and fruit as they have here,” David said.

The orchard has been in Black’s family for more than 60 years. He hopes the new Farm Bill will help him keep the orchard in his family and pests like stink bugs far away.

“It’s an ongoing project with the federal government to keep research going for the farmers so we can produce a good, marketable crop and keep us all in business,” Black said.

About 350,000 people work in agriculture in Maryland. The Farm Bill will also help out wineries and dairy farms.