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Maryland Agricultural Highlights — September 2020

Cover Crop Farmers: It’s Not Too Late to Qualify for an Early Planting Bonus

Maryland farmers who signed up for state cost-share grants to plant fall cover crops using non-aerial planting methods can qualify for a $10 per acre incentive payment if they plant their fields by Oct. 10. Studies show that the sooner fall cover crops are planted, the greater the water quality and soil health benefits. More information is available on the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s website. Farmers may also contact their local soil conservation district, or call the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program at (410) 841-5864 with questions.

How to Write a Nutrient Management Plan Webinar Training Set for Oct. 5-9

The Maryland Department of Agriculture and University of Maryland Extension will offer a free Zoom webinar on how to write a nutrient management plan from Monday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Oct. 9. The training will include a combination of video instruction and online “office hours.” The workshops are for people who are new to the nutrient management plan-writing process. Six continuing education credits will be awarded to consultants who have passed the nutrient management certification exam within the last year. The workshop is free, but the latest version of the NuMan Pro software program will be needed. For more information or to register, click here

New Staff Directory Published for Maryland Nutrient Management Program

The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Program has updated its contact information for field staff working throughout the state. The updated directory includes new phone numbers and mailing addresses for several regional offices serving Maryland farmers. Download the latest directory here.

Always Read and Follow Fertilizer Label Instructions 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds homeowners to read and follow all label instructions before applying fertilizer to lawns. Experts agree that fall is the best time to fertilize most lawns based on soil test results. Fertilizer should be applied based on the size of your yard and your lawn’s nutritional requirements. Too much fertilizer can weaken your lawn and harm the Chesapeake Bay. Do not apply fertilizer near streams and waterways or if heavy rain is predicted. For more tips and information on soil testing and Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law, visit the department’s website.

Conservation Choices for Maryland Farmers Available Online

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has updated its popular resource, Conservation Choices for Maryland Farmers. The updated resource is now available for free download on the department’s website and includes several new best management practices that farmers can install to maintain farm production, improve soil health, safeguard water quality, provide wildlife habitat, and improve air quality. 

You Are What You Drink — How to Test Your Well Water Webinar Set for Sept. 16

University of Maryland Extension will offer a free webinar on how to test your well water on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from noon until 12:45 p.m. The webinar is part of a monthly water quality series hosted by Extension Water Quality Specialist Andrew Lazur. All webinars will take place using the Zoom webinar platform. For more information visit on the event webpage

Gardening Calendar Offers Monthly Tips

The University of Maryland Extension (UME) Home and Garden Information Center has published a gardening calendar that includes a monthly checklist of tips and tasks to keep your garden healthy. A key tip for September is to hold off pruning trees and shrubs until later in the fall and winter. Learn more tips here.


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