Governor Wes Moore and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller on Saturday visited the 142nd Maryland State Fair in Timonium to celebrate the work of the Maryland agricultural industry. In addition to touring the fairgrounds, Gov. Moore spoke with farmers and agricultural producers during the Governor’s Ag Day Luncheon.
“Agriculture is Maryland’s number one industry and we produce some of the best agricultural products in the nation,” said Gov. Moore. “Our farmers are the lifeblood of our state’s economy and you cannot understand the story of Maryland without understanding the stories of our farmers.”
The 2023 Maryland State Fair featured 22,000 competitive events showcasing Maryland’s best animals, produce, and arts and crafts. The annual event attracts over 500,000 guests each year. Since 2005, the fair has donated nearly $500,000 in scholarships to Maryland youth.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration began a paving project Sept. 5, on MD 12 (Snow Hill Road) between Airport Road and the Worcester County Line. The project should be completed by mid-October, weather permitting.
Motorists can expect single-lane closures throughout the duration of the project. Crews will work Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
The State Highway Administration’s contractor, Allan Myers, Inc. of Fallston, will use arrow boards, cones and flaggers to safely guide motorists through the work zone. Drivers should expect major traffic impacts with significant delays during work hours.
The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore on Sept. 1 welcomed Norwegian Cruise Line to Maryland to begin a fall and winter sailing schedule. For the first time in the company’s history, Norwegian will have two ships homeporting from Maryland: Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun. The ships will offer cruises from Baltimore to New England and Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
The Port of Baltimore has offered year-round cruising since 2009. Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the port averaged more than 200,000 passengers annually. Following a cruise industry-wide pause during the pandemic, Baltimore’s passenger counts have strongly rebounded, with its ships currently sailing at full capacity.
The Port of Baltimore generates about 15,300 direct jobs, with nearly 140,000 jobs overall linked to port activities. The port is first among the nation’s ports for autos and light truck volume, roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery and imported gypsum. The port is responsible for nearly $3.3 billion in personal wages and salaries, $2.6 billion in business revenue and $395 million in state and local tax revenue annually.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds citizens in rural areas to expect an increase in low-flying airplanes or helicopters through Oct. 10. This is the time of year that farmers enrolled in Maryland’s Cover Crop Program are aerially seeding small grains in their fields to help protect water quality in local streams and the Chesapeake Bay and improve their soil’s health.
Farmers enrolled in the department’s Cover Crop Program receive grants to plant small grains, legumes, and other types of cover crops in their fields in the fall. Farmers may incorporate seeds into newly harvested fields or aerially seed them into standing corn, soybeans, or sorghum.
Once established, cover crops work all winter long to provide a living, protective cover against erosion and nutrient runoff while building the soil’s organic matter for the following crop. Importantly, cover crops help the soil capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While planting cover crops, no pesticides or fertilizers are applied. For aerial seeding, small planes will take off from local airports serving the county or region.
Maryland’s Cover Crop Program is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. The program is administered by MDA and the state’s 24 soil conservation districts through the Conservation Grants Program. For more information, contact your local soil conservation district.