Deadline for Planting Cover Crops Extended to Nov. 12
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Due to wet conditions across many parts of the state, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has extended the November 5 planting deadline by one week for farmers who signed up for grants to plant fall cover crops through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program. Farmers now have until November 12 to plant qualifying cover crops of wheat, spelt, rye, and triticale in their fields.
The extension is only available to farmers who use the following planting methods: no till, conventional, or broadcast with light, minimum, or vertical tillage. With the extension, farmers must certify their cover crop with their local soil conservation district within one week of planting and no later than November 19 in order to be reimbursed for associated seed, labor, and equipment costs.
Cover crops are cereal grains that grow in cool weather. As they grow, cover crops provide a protective cover against erosion and nutrient runoff while building the soil’s organic matter for the next year’s crop. Cover crops are widely considered one of the most cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable ways to protect water quality in local streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland’s Cover Crop Program is administered by the MACS Program and the state’s 24 soil conservation districts. Funding is provided by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. For more information, farmers should contact their local soil conservation district or the MACS Program’s office at 410-841-5864.
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