Maryland Department of Agriculture Offers New Tree-Planting Incentive
Program Supports Maryland’s Plan to Plant 5 Million Trees for Climate Progress
ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 12, 2023)-The Maryland Department of Agriculture today announced that a new tree-planting bonus is now available to farmers and landowners who install qualifying conservation practices financed through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share program. The incentive aims to help Maryland achieve its ambitious tree-planting goal to capture greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
“I encourage farmers to take advantage of this attractive incentive program. In addition to storing atmospheric carbon, trees provide tremendous water quality benefits for local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “They provide a win-win for both the air and water.”
Under the new incentive program, eligible farmers will receive $2 for each new tree planted as part of an approved conservation practice that began April 1. The bonus payment will be provided when the conservation practice is fully installed. This payment is in addition to the regular cost-share rate for the qualifying practice. It is available for the following conservation practices:
- Windbreak Establishment – $2 per tree plus up to 100% cost-share
- Silvopasture – $2 per tree plus up to 87.5% cost-share
- Riparian Forest Buffer – $2 per tree plus up to 100% cost-share
- Hedgerow Planting – $2 per tree plus up to 100% cost-share
- Tree and Shrub Establishment – $2 per tree plus up to 100% cost-share
Maryland has pledged to plant 5 million trees in the state by 2031 to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere and combat climate change. The department’s new tree planting bonus aims to increase farmer interest and commitment to planting trees and other forest conservation practices. You can read Maryland’s plan to grow 5 million trees here.
Established in 1984, the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share program) provides farmers with grants to help cover the cost of installing conservation practices on their farms to protect water quality in streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay and establish climate-smart conservation practices.
Interested farmers should contact their local soil conservation district to apply for cost-share funding and to receive free technical assistance to install new practices. Applicants must be in good standing with the program and in compliance with Maryland’s nutrient management regulations to be eligible. Other restrictions may apply. For more information, please contact the Conservation Grants office at 410-841-5864 or visit the program website.
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