Cover Crops

Cover Crops

Cover Crops

Description

Cover crops are important to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the productivity of Maryland's farmland. In the fall, cold-hardy cereal grains such as wheat, rye and barley are planted as cover crops in newly harvested fields. Once established, cover crops recycle unused plant nutrients remaining in the soil from the previous summer crop and protect fields against wind and water erosion. Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Milestones call for 355,000 acres of cover crops to be planted annually. For four years running, Maryland farmers have planted more than 400,000 acres of protective cover crops on their fields.  

Funding Source

MDA provides grants to help farmers offset seed, labor and equipment costs associated with planting cover crops. Funding for Maryland’s Cover Crop Program is provided by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund.