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Field Day planned May 22 will show how to grow organic grains

May 13, 2008

ANNAPOLIS - Demand for organic grain is growing quickly in response to increased consumer desire for certified products.

Farmers interested in growing organic feed stocks and exploring this new marketing opportunity are encouraged to attend an upcoming field day, which will be May 22.

The field day will offer an opportunity to learn about practices for no-till rotations, uses and benefits of cover crops, modified planting equipment, weed management and more.

"As consumer demand continues to grow each year for organic meat and milk, the demand for organic grain continues to increase," said Agriculture Secretary Roger Richardson.

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"This is a good opportunity for Maryland farmers to create a sustainable supply of locally-grown organic grains and forage for livestock producers."

The field day will be at Mason's Heritage in Queen Anne's County, Md., from 2 to 6 p.m.

Bill Mason of Mason's Heritage has been using no-till for organic agriculture production for the past two years. Speakers will include local educators, as well as researchers from the Rodale Institute and Penn State University.

The day is hosted by the Rodale Institute, Penn State University and the Maryland Department of Agriculture and is a part of the Maryland Organic Grain and Forage workshop series being held throughout the year. Additional field days will be held throughout the summer, including one on the Western Shore.

The field day is free and will include dinner following the event, but registration is requested by May 16.

For more information, contact Kate Mason at masonkb@mda.state.md.us or 410-841-5779.

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