Maryland Agricultural Highlights – January 2020
Frederick Cover Crop Workshop Set for February 5
The Catoctin & Frederick Soil Conservation Districts in conjunction with the Frederick County Farm Bureau will host a cover crop workshop on Wednesday, February 5 at the Great Frederick Fairgrounds. Participants will learn about advanced cover cropping techniques from Steve Groff, an expert in cover crop innovation and education for over 25 years. Mr. Groff will also offer insight on the rising hemp industry. Register by January 24 on Eventbrite.
Nutrient Management Training and Certification for Urban Farmers
The Maryland Department of Agriculture and University of Maryland Extension (UME) will offer training and certification workshops for urban farmers who want to become certified to write nutrient management plans for their own operations. Workshops are aimed at Intensive Small-Scale Food Production Operations and will be offered at the UME office in Baltimore City during multiple dates in March. Professional staff will be available to assist with plan writing. Seating is limited. For a registration form, click here.
State Agriculture Department Reminds Citizens Not to Use Fertilizer to Melt Ice
Now that winter is in full swing, the Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds citizens that Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law prohibits the use of fertilizer products to de-ice frozen surfaces. Once temperatures rise, these products can easily wash into nearby storm drains and streams with the first rain or snow. Fertilizer contributes to the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching bay grasses, rob the water of oxygen, and threaten underwater life. The University of Maryland recommends using sand and kitty litter as possible substitutes. For more information on melting ice safely, visit UME’s website.
2019 Maryland Nutrient Management Reporting Forms Now Available Online
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that 2019 Nutrient Management Annual Implementation Reporting (AIRs) forms and instructions are now available online. Farmers use the reporting forms to document how they implemented their nutrient management plans during calendar year 2019. The forms are due to the department by March 1, 2020. Most farmers will also receive printed copies of the reporting form in the mail. For more information, contact the department’s Nutrient Management Program at 410-841-5959.
Fertilizer Application Reports Due March 1 for Licensed Professional Fertilizer Applicators
Licensed individuals and businesses that fertilize turf are required to file an Annual Fertilizer Application Report with the Maryland Department of Agriculture by March 1. The report outlines total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium applied to turf by county during calendar year 2019. Reporting forms are available on the department’s website. For more information, call 410-841-5959 or contact email@example.com.
Workshops to Update Nutrient Management Plans Offered
The Maryland Department of Agriculture and UME will offer a series of workshops for certified farmers who need to update their nutrient management plans. Specialists will be available at locations across Maryland to assist farmers with updating their nutrient management plans using the nutrient management planning software, NuMan Pro 5.0. Sessions will be informal and participants will work at their own pace. The 2020 training sessions will be held February 3 in Queen Anne’s County; February 10 in Charles County; February 18 in Baltimore County; February 24 and April 6 in Frederick County; and March 2 in Washington County. Download the class schedule here. Register by contacting Paul Shipley at 301-405-2563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Nutrient Management Program Annual Report Published
The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Program has published its 2019 annual report highlighting its activities and accomplishments over the past 20 years in helping Maryland farmers protect streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay from nutrient pollution. The report is available online.
Maryland’s Conservation Partnership is a coalition of federal, state, and local agriculture agencies dedicated to protecting and conserving natural resources and promoting Maryland agriculture. Members include the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, the State Soil Conservation Committee, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency and University of Maryland Extension.