Maryland Dept. of Agriculture Opens Conservation Grants

Maryland’s Soil Conservation Districts are now accepting grant applications.

logo of the Maryland Department of AgricultureThe Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be the raising of cost-share funding caps for 34 qualifying conservative-minded best management practices (BMPs). Effective May 2, 2022, the cost-share ceiling for these BMPs increased to $75,000 per project. This applies to all eligible BMP components, which are based on approved flat rates.

According to the press release:

“Our state has a strong agricultural cost-share program that supports farmers’ conservation work,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “This program helps make a difference for natural resources and the Chesapeake Bay, while helping farmers become more resilient to climate change.”

The following BMPs are eligible for the increase:

  • Conservation Cover
  • Contour Farming
  • Contour Orchard
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Diversion
  • Fencing
  • Field Border
  • Filter Strip
  • Grade Stabilization Structure
  • Grassed Waterway
  • Heavy Use Area Protection
  • Hedgerow Planting
  • Lined Waterway or Outlet
  • Pasture Management
  • Poultry Mortality Composting
  • Riparian Forest Buffer
  • Riparian Herbaceous Cover
  • Roof Runoff Structure
  • Roofs and Covers
  • Sediment Basin
  • Sediment Control Pond
  • Silvopasture
  • Spring Development
  • Stream Crossing
  • Strip Cropping, Contour
  • Strip Cropping, Field
  • Structure Water Control
  • Terrace System
  • Vegetated Treatment Area
  • Waste Treatment Lagoon
  • Water Well
  • Watering Facility
  • Wetland Restoration
  • Windbreak Establishment

Established in 1984, the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program (MACS) provides farmers with grants to help cover the cost of installing conservation practices on their farms to protect water quality in streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. In recent years the program has introduced a menu of program changes to promote sustainable, regenerative agriculture practices.

In 2021 the program received authorization to provide farmers with up to 100% cost-share for more than 20 high-priority conservation practices. Installation of these in-field and edge-of-field conservation practices will help Maryland meet its 2025 Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals.

Read the full press release. 

Contact your local soil conservation district or MDA at 410-841-5864.