Sign-up Period for Maryland’s 2024 Small Acreage Cover Crop Program Opens March 25

Annapolis, MD (March 27, 2024) ~ Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Department of Agriculture has opened the sign-up period for its 2024 Small Acreage Cover Crop Program, encouraging small farms and urban growers to apply for grants to support their production areas. From March 25 to April 30, 2024, eligible growers who plant less than ten acres of qualifying cover crops can apply for financial assistance of up to $1,500 per year.

The program aims to promote healthy soils, increase crop yields, protect local water quality, and improve climate resilience. "Local communities throughout the state need easy access to fresh, healthy food," stated Maryland Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. "Many of these communities depend on small-scale and urban farmers to provide their families with safe, nutritious food. The Department is pleased to provide these essential growers with conservation grants to plant cover crops that support a local, sustainable food system. I encourage all eligible growers to apply for these grants during the open enrollment period."

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Interested growers can download grant applications from MDA's website and must submit them by April 30, 2024. The program's highlights include a maximum payment of $1,500 per grower per year and reimbursement based on paid receipts. Eligible species include single cereal grains or cover crop seed mixes that can be planted in open plots/fields, raised beds, or a high tunnel.

To ensure successful cover crop planting, growers should follow recommendations from the seed manufacturer or the University of Maryland Extension for eligible species. The Small Acreage Cover Crop Program is funded by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and managed by the Small Farm and Urban Agriculture Program.

Bill Tharpe, the Program Administrator for the Small Farm and Urban Agriculture Program at or 410-841-5869 is available for interested growers seeking more information about the program. For additional details about eligibility criteria and application process, please visit the website. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is committed to supporting small farms and urban growers in their efforts to provide fresh, healthy food to local communities.

Filed Under: Government, State

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