ANNAPOLIS, Md., Aug. 20 -- The Maryland Department of Agriculture issued the following news release:
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) today announced that it will offer financial assistance to farmers who inject or incorporate manure or other eligible organic products into cropland this fall as required by Maryland's nutrient management regulations.
This year, approximately $2 million in cost share funds are available to help farmers comply with Maryland's nutrient management regulations.
"The O'Malley-Brown Administration is committed to providing farmers with the resources they need to comply with environmental regulations and help Maryland meet its nutrient reduction milestones for the Chesapeake Bay," said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. "Farmers who want to switch to manure to help improve the soil, increase yields and save on commercial fertilizer costs should consider this program as well."
Cost-share rates for manure incorporation and injection range from $10 to $55 an acre depending on the type of equipment or services used. Farmers who use manure injection equipment receive the highest reimbursement rates. While transportation costs are not cost-shared through this program, grants to haul manure are available to eligible farms through MDA's Manure Transport Program.
Maryland's recently revised nutrient management regulations require farmers to inject or incorporate manure and other organic nutrient sources into the soil within 48 hours of application in order to achieve maximum water quality benefits for streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. This program is designed to help farmers comply with this environmental requirement while making the most of manure resources.
Participation is limited to farmers who have not used eligible equipment for incorporation or injection of manure from October 15, 2007 to October 15, 2012.
Cost-share grants for manure incorporation and injection are administered by the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program. Applicants must be in good standing with MACS and in compliance with the Nutrient Management Program. All work must be completed by November 17, 2014 and all claims for payment received by December 15, 2014. Other restrictions apply.
Farmers should visit their local soil conservation district office to apply. Applications will be accepted until all funding is exhausted. For more information, contact MDA at 410-841-5864.
Learn more about Maryland's sustainable policies, practices and programs at green.maryland.gov and follow us @GreenMaryland.