Governor Larry Hogan – Official Website of the Governor of Maryland

Initiative to help historically underserved farmers and communities

Annapolis, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced the launch of a Small Acreage Cover Crop Program to support smallholder farmers and urban agriculture. The pilot program is run by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and aims to help historically underserved farmers and communities build healthy soils, increase yields, sequester carbon and improve water quality. local. Financial assistance for this program is capped at $1,000 per producer, per year.

“The incredible character, work ethic and resilience of our farmers has been an inspiration to me and to all Marylanders,” Governor Hogan said. “Grant programs like these demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that all of our farmers continue to be good stewards of the land and that agriculture remains our state’s number one industry.”

Maryland’s Small-Area Cover Crop Program is the first in a series of statewide financial assistance programs to be introduced by MDA’s new Urban and Smallholder Agriculture Program. . It will provide the financial and technical assistance needed to support small farms located in urban, peri-urban, rural and suburban areas. The program’s goal is to increase community access to healthy food by helping farmers adopt environmentally friendly practices.

Small growers who may not qualify for traditional cover crop programs are encouraged to apply for these grants. Program highlights include:

  • Urban agricultural producers and small farmers who plant five acres or less of a cover crop can apply for cover crop subsidies.
  • Eligible species to plant include cover crop seed mixes or single cereal grains.
  • Cover crops can be planted in open plots, raised beds, or an elevated tunnel after harvesting a production crop (vegetables, grasses, flowers, sorghum, soybeans, hemp, millet, or tobacco).
  • Growers should plant fall cover crops as recommended by seed companies, but no later than November 30, 2022.
  • Growers will be reimbursed based on paid receipts with a maximum payment of $1,000 per growing season.

“Interest in small-scale and urban agriculture is on the rise, both nationally and here in Maryland,” said MDA Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “In recent years, the department has seen a strong demand for fresh, safe, locally grown foods in communities across the state. Our Small-Area Cover Crop Program will provide the public funds needed to help urban and small-scale growers improve and protect the natural resources that support fresh, healthy food.

The Small Area Cover Crop Program is funded by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and managed by MDA’s Conservation Grants Program. Growers interested in applying for these grants should contact Bill Tharpe, program administrator for the Small Farm and Urban Agriculture program, at [email protected] or 410-841-5869.

For more information, please visit the website.


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