Conservation > Financial Assistance Programs

 Financial Assistance Programs

Cost-share grants are available for many best management practices, including fencing and livestock watering systems.

It costs money to install best management practices. When profit margins are slim due to poor market conditions, too much or too little rain, uninvited insect pests, or any number of other unforeseeable circumstances, the question of how to pay for an environmental improvement becomes even more challenging. Because protecting water quality benefits all Maryland citizens, the Maryland Department of Agriculture provides a number of programs designed to help farmers cover the cost of installing certain best management practices.

The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program provides farmers with grants that cover up to 87.5 percent of the cost to install best management practices (BMPs) on their farms to control soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Approximately 30 BMPs are currently eligible for funding. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) pays landowners attractive land rental rates to take environmentally sensitive cropland out of production for 10 to 15 years and install conservation practices that protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat. The Cover Crop Program provides farmers with grants to plant small grains on their fields in the fall to conserve nutrients, control soil erosion and protect water quality.  A Manure Matching and Transport Program is available to help animal producers transport excess manure off their farms. Low Interest Loans for Agricultural Conservation are offered through the LILAC program and Maryland income tax deductions and subtractions are available for qualifying conservation equipment. Click on the left sidebar or PDF menu for more information on these programs.