Soil Health Information

Meet the farmers and conservation professionals
Maryland's Healthy Soils Competitive Fund

The 2024 Enrollment Period is Now Closed​.
Please check back in January for 2025 Grant Program

The Maryland Department of Agriculture will accept applications for its Healthy​ Soils Competitive Fund from January 3-March 6, 2024. If you have an innovative conservation idea for your farm, this program is for you! It provides financial assistance to qualifying farmers who want to adopt a range of soil health or agroforestry practices. It aims to  support farmers and operators who are ineligible for other programs.  ​​

How Much Money is Available?​​
​This competitive grant program awards selected applicants with up to $50,000 to support 3 years of enhanced healthy soil practices. Individual producers and organizations that want to take the next step to improve soil health may apply.

When Can I Apply for Your Grants?
MDA will accept applications from January 3, 2024 through March 6, 2024. Grant recipients will be announced by April  30, 2024.

What Types of Projects are Funded?
Financial assistance is available to manage conservation practices in new and innovative ways that improve soil health, yield, and profitability and capture carbon.

Eligible soil health practices include:
  • ​Cover Crops
  • Conservation Tillage
  • Pasture and Hay Planting
  • Conservation Cover
  • Critical Area Planting​
  • Conservation Crop Rotation
  • Nutrient Management
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Prescribed Grazing
  • NEW: Soil Carbon Amendment
Eligible agroforestry practices include:
  • ​Alley Cropping
  • Hedgerow Planting
  • Silvopasture
  • Tree and Shrub Establishment
  • Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment​​

Who is Eligible for Funding?
The following individuals or groups may apply for funding. You may apply for funding for more than one conservation practice:
  • Individual farmers operating in Maryland
  • Groups of farmers operating in Maryland
  • Individuals or organizations conducting research with farmers in Maryland, (participating farms must be named in the application​) 

More Information...
  • There are no minimum or maximum acreage requirements.
  • Farm size is not a consideration for project selection.
  • Funds may not be used to cover overhead or indirect costs.
  • Grant recipients will receive a portion​ of the funds (not to exceed 40%) upfront, with the remainder distributed annually following verification of progress. The allowable upfront payment will depend on the proposed scope of work.  
  • Funds may be used to:
    • ​Support implementation of conservation practices
    • Cover staff and administrative time for organizations that provide technical support to producers
    • Cover research costs
    • Purchase or rent equipment that supports the adoption of soil health practices. 
  • This project is funded by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and the Moore Administration.​

Contact Information

Nick Miller, Healthy Soils Program Specialist
Program Planning and Evaluation
Office of Resource Conservation
(410) 841-5866 (O)
(410) 980-2350 (M)​

Office Address
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401

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