Maryland Agricultural Highlights — May 2020
Register Now for Online Recertification
The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Turfgrass Nutrient Management Program will host an online recertification class for Professional Fertilizer Applicators on Thursday, May 14. To register, email Judy McGowan at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 12. Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law requires lawn care professionals be certified by the department or work under the direct supervision of an individual who is certified. Professional Fertilizer Applicator Certificates are valid through June 30 of each year and may be renewed annually for an $100 fee and with the verification of two hours of annual recertification training. Expiration dates for recertification are extended to 30 days after the State of Emergency is lifted. For more information, please visit the program’s website.
Homeowners Reminded to Fertilize Lawns Responsibly
The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds homeowners who care for their lawns themselves to always read and follow the directions on the fertilizer bag. This will help prevent excess fertilizer from washing into nearby storm drains that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. To prevent runoff, fertilize warm-season grasses (Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass) in late spring or early summer and cool-season grasses (fescues, bluegrass) in the fall. Keep fertilizer at least 10 feet away from streams and waterways, sweep fertilizer that has landed on sidewalks and driveways back onto lawns, and never fertilize if heavy rains are expected. For more tips on how to fertilize responsibly, visit the department’s website.
Prince George’s Soil Conservation District Annual Report Available
The Prince George’s Soil Conservation District has released its 2019 annual report outlining its agricultural and urban conservation programs that protect natural resources and the Chesapeake Bay. The report highlights the district’s 2019 Conservation Farmers of the Year. This year’s recipients are Paul and Missi Duley, who together with their sons, farm 2,000 acres in Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties using time-honored practices and new technologies to improve soil health, control erosion, manage nutrients, and protect local water quality. To read the report, visit the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District’s website.
Renewal Forms for Lawn Care Professionals Being Mailed in Late June, Early July
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that renewal forms for Certified Professional Fertilizer Applicators, business license holders, and trained employees will be mailed in late June or early July. Current certifications, registrations, and licenses will remain valid until 30 days after the State of Emergency. Citizens can verify that their lawn care provider is certified by visiting the department’s Turfgrass Nutrient Management Program’s website.
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.