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Maryland Agricultural Highlights — October 2020

Cover Crop Planting Deadline is Nov. 5

Farmers who signed up for grants to plant cover crops this fall with the Maryland Department of Agriculture have until Nov. 5, 2020, to plant cereal grains (barley, rye, triticale, wheat, and spelt) in their fields. To receive payment, farmers must certify cover crops with their soil conservation district within one week of planting and no later than Nov. 13, 2020. Eligible cover crops may be grazed or chopped for on-farm livestock forage after becoming well established. Manure may be applied in fall following Maryland’s nutrient management regulations. For more information, farmers should visit the department’s Cover Crop Program website, contact their local soil conservation district, or call the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program at 410-841-5864.

Horse Manure Composting Webinar Set for Oct. 30

Ever wonder if composting is the best solution for your equine operation? This webinar will offer advice and tips from experts and operators alike. Get the lowdown from operators who compost their own manure and folks who haul manure away for composting. Attendance awards three Maryland nutrient management continuing education credits. The event is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland, and the Maryland Horse Industry Board. Register here.

New On-Demand Phosphorus Management Tool Webinar Now Available

A new on-demand webinar is now available to farmers and nutrient management consultants who want to learn how to calculate the Phosphorus Management Tool using the NuManPro nutrient management planning software program. Participants who complete the training and pass the quiz earn one Maryland nutrient management continuing education credit. The webinar is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Program and the University of Maryland Agricultural Nutrient Management Program. Visit the website for the webinar link and quiz.

Homeowners Should Hire Only Licensed and Certified Lawn Care Professionals

The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds homeowners that lawn care professionals hired to fertilize lawns must be certified and licensed by the department’s Turfgrass Nutrient Management Program. For more information on Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law and a list of licensed and certified lawn care professionals, visit the department’s website.

Professional Fertilizer Applicator Certification Exam and Training Offered

Lawn care professionals who want to become certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to apply fertilizer to turf should register for upcoming exams scheduled for Oct. 20, 2020 at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center in Boonsboro, MD or Oct. 22, 2020 at the Talbot Agriculture and Education Center in Easton, MD. Exams will be held outdoors at covered locations. Masks are required and social distancing rules must be followed. Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law requires lawn care professionals hired to apply fertilizer to turfgrass to be certified by the department or work under the direct supervision of an individual who is certified. Download the registration form here.

Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture Webinar Set for Oct. 14

The free webinar, How to Care for Your Septic System and Water Well, will be offered on Oct. 14, 2020 at noon by the Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture. Learn the basics of caring for your drinking water well and septic system along with important maintenance tips to keep your systems working effectively and safely. Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture is a program of the University of Maryland Extension. Its aim is to provide knowledge and resources to women in agriculture. Register for the webinar 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