Soil Health to Go! with Maryland Department of Agriculture

Soil Health to Go! with Maryland Department of Agriculture

For our February Soil Health to Go, we are focused on funding!

On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, from 12-12:30, two guests from the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) discuss new opportunities for Maryland farmers to access financial assistance. Kevin Antoszewski, program specialist for MDA’s Healthy Soils Program will provide an overview of the new Healthy Soils Competitive Fund, and Bill Tharpe, program administrator for the Urban Ag and Small Farms program, will offer insights into the Small Acreage Cover Crop program.

Healthy Soils Competitive Fund

Maryland farmers and organizations with innovative conservation ideas are encouraged to apply for these grants. Successful applicants will receive up to $50,000 to support 3 years of enhanced healthy soil practices. Funding can be applied to many practices, including but not limited to: cover crops, conservation tillage, pasture & hedgerow planting, silvopasture, tree & shrub establishment, and more! Grants may also be used to purchase equipment that supports the adoption of soil health practices. Deadline to apply for this program is March 3, 2023.​

Small Farm and Urban Agriculture Program

MDA has offered a traditional cover crop program for years, but it was limited to five acres or more. The new Small Acreage Cover Crop Program is designed for operations that are growing crops on less acreage. Cover crops include wheat, rye, barley, legumes, and brassicas all of which  take up excess nutrients left in the soil from the prior crop and build organic matter through the cover crop biomass. Cover crops also help build up the soil biology and structure, reducing fertilizer costs and erosion. In order to qualify, growers must sell or donate at least $1,000 in crops each year.

REGISTER to get your questions answered by the experts. We look forward to seeing you soon!

The goal of the Million Acre Challenge is to support farmers in building healthy soils on one million acres of Maryland agricultural land by 2030. By joining the Challenge, you show your commitment to putting your boots on the pathway to a profitable, resilient future for your farm with healthy soils as the foundation.

Dates: Tuesday, February 8, 12-12:30 p.m. ET 

Location: Online

Cost: FREE