Delaware Public Media

Agriculture

Delaware Department of Agriculture

Surveys from the U.S. Department of Agriculture predict Delaware’s principal crops, including corn and soybeans, will occupy more than 400,000 acres of Delaware farmland this year.

 

Often used as chicken feed, corn and soybeans help drive Delaware’s robust poultry industry.

Delaware Public Media

Delaware farmers would take a hit if President Donald Trump’s recently released budget proposal is enacted. 

 

 

Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media

Almost $30,000 is being distributed among 18 urban agriculture and community projects across the First State.

The money comes from the Delaware Department of Agriculture and New Castle Conservation District. It will go to community groups, schools, religious institutions and other organizations.

The goal is to improve nutrition and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Grant recipients and amounts:

Courtesy of the Delaware Department of Agriculture

Poultry is big business in Delaware and issues surrounding it - ranging from the building of new mega-chicken houses to the environmental impact of the industry - are stories we often delve into.

But in the process of that reporting, we don’t often paint a picture of what the day-to-day life of a local poultry farmer is like.

So, this week, as she works on a related story, Delaware Public Media’s Katie Peikes takes us inside a local organic chicken house to get a better feel for its operations.


Three Delaware families were recognized Tuesday for their dedication to farming over the last century.

Agriculture technology and markets changed substantially over the past 100 years, but that hasn’t stopped over 130 Delaware families from maintaining farms in their communities.

 

Delaware Department of Agriculture

 


Delaware has recently awarded three no-interest loans to young farmers in the state. The Young Farmers Loan Program is designed to help young people break into agriculture.

Delaware Public Media

The USDA is offering another round of water quality improvement grants to farmers in Chesapeake Bay watersheds. This time, they’ll be able to supply more funding, thanks to new partners in the Delmarva region.

The grants from the federal agency’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are being offered as part of a conservation initiative called Field to Stream. It’s led by a recently formed partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Delaware Maryland Agribusiness Association.

Amy Jacobs is the watershed restoration director at the Nature Conservancy’s Maryland chapter. She says this partnership will allow the USDA to work with more farmers.

With construction of more chicken houses in Delaware, come more chickens into processing plants like Allen Harim's in Sussex County.

 

The company has gotten state permission to double the capacity of its Harbeson slaughterhouse. But locals think the DNREC permit leaves too much wiggle room for pollution -- and they say the plant hasn't been a good neighbor, either.

Annie Ropeik/Delaware Public Media

Delaware's annual agriculture week kicked off Monday with a focus on the Delmarva Peninsula's biggest industry: poultry.

Hundreds of farmers, vendors, regulators and experts flocked to the state fairgrounds for updates on issues like the H5N1 avian flu. There hasn't been a case in the U.S. since last spring's devastating Midwest outbreak -- but experts said farmers still need to be wary.

Annie Ropeik/Delaware Public Media

 

Much of the Delmarva Peninsula is devoted to farming -- especially raising chickens. But with new technologies and outside investment, the small family farms the region once knew are growing into sprawling, factory-style complexes. And often, they're right in people's backyards.

In Delaware, those neighbors say the state isn't doing its part to protect them from the effects of a changing industry. Delaware Public Media's Annie Ropeik reports.

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