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Maryland Agricultural Highlights — August 2020

Farmers Encouraged to Aerial Seed Cover Crops by Sept. 10

The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds farmers who signed up for grants to plant fall cover crops that it pays to plant early. Farmers who hire an airplane or helicopter to aerial seed cover crops into standing corn can qualify for a $10 per acre incentive payment if they plant between Aug. 15 and Sept. 10. Additional early planting incentives are available to farmers who signed up to plant cover crops using other planting methods. Cover crop approval letters are currently being processed and will be mailed to all eligible farmers by mid-August. Farmers who have questions about their applications or need assistance should call the department’s Conservation Grants Program at 410-841-5864 or their local soil conservation district. Additional information is available on the Cover Crop Program website.

Free Online Webinar Series on Farm Succession and Estate Planning

A free online webinar series for farm families planning for the next generation will be held every Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. for four weeks beginning on Aug. 6 and ending on Aug. 27. Webinar topics include: retirement planning (Aug. 6); health insurance in later years (Aug. 13); business planning and communications (Aug. 20); and legal topics, planning tools and finding the right team (Aug. 27). Webinars are free, but registration is required. Register for specific sessions here. This webinar series is a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland Extension, University of Maryland – College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative, and University of Delaware Extension.

Soil Health Solutions Webinar Set for Aug. 17

This interactive webinar, being held on Monday, Aug. 17 from 1-4 p.m., tackles soil health challenges and solutions for all types of farms. Indiana State Resource Conservationist Shannon Zezula will outline ways to improve soil health and productivity based on individual farming situations. The event is sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Delaware State University, and the Delaware Soil Health Partnership. Please contact Jason Challandes at jchallandes@desu.edu or 302-388-2241 to register and receive a link to join the Zoom webinar.

Groundwater Stewardship Webinar Set for Aug. 19

University of Maryland Extension will offer a free webinar focused on groundwater quality and stewardship practices on Wednesday, Aug. 19 from noon to 12:45 p.m. Topics covered will include geology, the hydrologic cycle, groundwater flow, connectivity to surface waters, types of aquifers, and how to protect groundwater resources. The webinar includes a question and answer session and is part of a monthly webinar series hosted by University of Maryland Extension Water Quality Specialist Andrew Lazur. All webinars will take place using Zoom. Register for the Groundwater Stewardship Webinar here.

Delaware-Maryland 4R Alliance to Host Virtual Field Day Aug. 25

The Delaware-Maryland 4R Alliance will host a virtual field day Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 9 -11:30 a.m. The event features an exciting lineup of speakers covering topics ranging from soil sampling and case studies to the economics of the 4Rs of nutrient management — right source, right rate, right-time, and right place. Nutrient management and CCA credits are available. Register at Eventbrite.

Homeowners Urged to Let Lawns Go Dormant During Summer Months

With summer heat in full swing, the Maryland Department of Agriculture urges homeowners to allow established lawns to go dormant during the hot, dry weather. Applying fertilizer to force a lawn to turn green during its dormancy period can damage the grass and contribute to nutrient pollution in streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. Dormant lawns will green up when cooler temperatures arrive and rainfall increases. To help shade grass and conserve moisture, raise the mower’s cutting height by ½ inch to 1 inch during hot weather and leave grass clippings on the lawn as a source of free fertilizer. For more tips and information on Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law, visit the department’s website.

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The Maryland Agricultural Awareness Alliance is a coalition of federal, state and local agricultural agencies and commodity groups dedicated to educating Marylanders on agricultural issues.


Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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